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View Full Version : Decluttering is now a disease?



Ultralight
9-9-15, 11:19am
http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/09/ocd-obsessive-compulsive-decluttering-hoarding/401591/

Interesting stuff...

pinkytoe
9-9-15, 12:30pm
This is interesting to me because I've been concerned that I may be a bit overboard about stuff deletion lately. I have been wanting to change life situations for several years now but am stuck by circumstance. I vent my frustration by thinking about what I can get rid of to feel like the process of change might actually start soon if I get rid of things from the past. But isn't it interesting that we now have another condition to medicate?

Ultralight
9-9-15, 12:36pm
pinkytoe:

The Big Pharma corporations are salivating! lol

As most people know, I have donated, sold, trashed, deleted a lot of stuff. I have something like 159 things. But for me, after my big purges, I just go through periods where I get rid of this or that or the other thing (or all three) once in a blue moon. But then I don't think about decluttering all that much. I have other things to do -- go fishing, read a book, learn some new skill, hang out with friends, etc.

The thing that made sense to me in the article was that these people are governed by thoughts of decluttering -- like... all the time! I personally don't feel that way. I am cool with having 159 things for now. Sure, 100 would be fun, but perhaps in a year or two.

I am curious to know more about your situation. Care to share more?

catherine
9-9-15, 2:12pm
The saying that comes to mind is:

What you resist persists.

How do we live "at ease"--not resisting and not craving? So the craving to own stuff can be obsession, but so can the resistance to own stuff.

All of us have our own battles against cravings, but the battles themselves can be a form of the disease, no?

Teacher Terry
9-9-15, 2:45pm
It was an interesting article. OCD can ruin people's lives-their marriages, other relationships, etc. People with severe OCD need meds but my fear is that drugs will be prescribed for mild cases & over used. Milder forms can benefit from behavior modification.

Miss Cellane
9-9-15, 4:47pm
No. Extreme decluttering might be. Just as some people have reasonable stocks of supplies, and some people are hoarders.

People can have a lot of clutter in their homes, but not be hoarders. Hoarding involves saving things like trash, and also not being able to let anything go. Many people with a lot of clutter in their lives just need a bit of help letting stuff go; they don't cling to trash and endanger their family's health and safety.

Same with decluttering. When I read the Marie Kondo book, where she talks about getting rid of her siblings' stuff because it bothered *her*, not them, I have to admit my first thought was, "Gee, she has a problem there." It is one thing to be bothered by having a lot of stuff. It is another if you can't deal with someone else's stuff in another room that you don't ever have to look at.

There are extremes at either end of the scale that aren't really healthy. One is more socially acceptable than the other, but it can still be a problem and people might want to seek out treatment for it if it is interfering with their quality of life.

Several of the people quoted in the article admit that their extreme minimalism causes problems for them.

Ultralight
9-9-15, 4:53pm
There are extremes at either end of the scale that aren't really healthy. One is more socially acceptable than the other, but it can still be a problem and people might want to seek out treatment for it if it is interfering with their quality of life.

Several of the people quoted in the article admit that their extreme minimalism causes problems for them.

Where does "extreme minimalism" become a problem? How can one say "this amount of stuff is just too little."?

Kestra
9-9-15, 5:20pm
Where does "extreme minimalism" become a problem? How can one say "this amount of stuff is just too little."?

I think it's like most other things - when it's decreasing your quality of life, wrecking your social life, or you're thinking about it compulsively. If those things aren't happening then it's fine.

Ultralight
9-9-15, 5:21pm
I think it's like most other things - when it's decreasing your quality of life, wrecking your social life, or you're thinking about it compulsively. If those things aren't happening then it's fine.

Decreasing your quality of life? What do you mean?

Kestra
9-9-15, 5:26pm
Decreasing your quality of life? What do you mean?

Well if you are unhappy, or there are things you can't do because of your extreme lack of stuff. Like I could declutter all my crafting supplies, but I like knitting, so that would be annoying to me. Or I could get rid of all my pots, forcing myself to buy restaurant food, but I don't like most restaurant food, so that would make my life worse, not better.

Ultralight
9-9-15, 5:30pm
If decluttering is a disease then I would find amusement in it reaching epidemic proportions! ;)

rodeosweetheart
9-9-15, 5:43pm
If decluttering is a disease then I would find amusement in it reaching epidemic proportions! ;)

I think the disease was OCD and the decluttering just a symptom. I think the article title was catchy, but misleading.
The people in the article were suffering, so that's not a good thing.
Hoarders suffer, too, and some hoarders also have OCD.

Chicken lady
9-9-15, 6:53pm
Just an aside, you do not have to hoard trash to be a hoarder. Trash is just easy to hoard - it's free and hard to avoid completely.

Miss Cellane
9-9-15, 10:32pm
Where does "extreme minimalism" become a problem? How can one say "this amount of stuff is just too little."?

“They’re not sleeping at night and they’re feeling jittery and irritable … they’ll sit in my office and straighten my pillows. They’re not comfortable until everything is in order.”

"Diller’s compulsive-decluttering patients, she says, sometimes describe “this tightness in their chest if they see things that should be thrown out,” one that can be eased only by getting rid of the offending objects."

You have a few seconds of peace,” she says. “Then it all comes flooding: The anxiety, the dread … It's that constant nagging. You never reach a point where you're satisfied.” Even now, after years of treatment, “I would rather throw something out and buy it again than keep it.”

Okay, so maybe it's not extreme minimalism by itself--it's the minimalism combined with the anxiety/other negative feelings about things in general. If you can't sit in a doctor's office without rearranging things, I would see that as a problem. If the person experiencing the feelings thinks there's a problem, then there's a problem.

The problem isn't being diagnosed by outsiders--the people suffering from the symptoms are the ones calling it OCD. and/or seeking help.

You can nit-pick the wording used, but clearly there are some people who struggle with any level of possessions, and they are seeking help with this.

And excessive decluttering doesn't have its own diagnosis. According to the article, it is considered to be a symptom of OCD.