If you missed Smith College psychology professor Randy Frost and Boston University Dean of the School of Social Work Gail Steketee talking about hoarding and their new book, “Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things,” then take a minute –OK, actually about 17 minutes –to listen to the podcast from NPR’s “Fresh Air.”
One of Frost’s comments touches on the distinction between hoarding and collecting, which is a topic I’ve visited before. Here’s what he says:
One of the questions we get all the time from people is, ‘What’s the difference between someone who has a hoarding problem and someone who is a collector?’ What we’ve noticed is a couple of major differences between the two. First of all, when people collect things, they typically organize them in a pretty systematic fashion — and that doesn’t happen in hoarding. The other thing is, when people collect things, they typically want to display them to other people. … Hoarders want to keep things hidden because of the shame they have.”
What information about hoarding surprised you most?