Is there an ADHD Connection with Hoarding?

ADHD and the Hoading Connection

Over the last 6-8 weeks I have decluttered beyond belief. Two weeks before going away in August I had such a massive blitz. After we came home, again for two weeks I purged beyond belief. It’s amazing how much clutter I had lying around, that I just hadn’t noticed.


​​I was just talking to my daughter on Monday, and I shared with her (in case she hadn’t noticed…) that I felt that I something in the atmosphere had shifted. Indeed, when you part with your clutter, you make way for more light. I was sure that something special was about to happen, I could just feel it …
It happened the next day…

It happened the next day…
The next day I got a call from Mandi Simms, asking if I would like to join her in filming with a TV company for a hoarding program. (Can’t say more details yet, sorry!) I spoke with the producer, and after a 10 minute phone call, it was all booked!

So this Wednesday 16th September I will be travelling to London for a four hour filming session to that will be aired in March or June 2021.
I had ‘virtually’ met Mandi via FB last year when we had a chat last year. I mentioned to her that she may have some ADHD tendencies, and this may be contributing towards her hoarding patterns and challenges. Recently Mandi downloaded my free pdf for Professional Organisers on my Organise Pro website. It lists many reasons why our organising clients may be suffering from clutter and hoarding. Lots of the reasons resonated with her. She then spoke to another hoarding specialist more recently who mentioned the possibility of the ADHD connection.
Mandi is keen to help create awareness and to educate the public that undiagnosed ADHD may be part of many people’s hoarding challenges.

In the program you see me in action, as I work with Mandi, supporting her and guiding her as she faces her clutter, and help her to part with it on her own terms. 
As a Professional Organiser I don’t just enter a client’s abode and chuck their stuff!!!
I work 121 with my clients, at their own pace. There are so many factors involved in supporting my clients to help part with their clutter and then create systems that work for them.

When I work with Mandi I will demonstrate hands on ADHD tools and techniques that I use with my clients.

So many Professional Organisers are confused and stuck. They feel like there is a missing piece of the puzzle and they don’t know what it is? They don’t know that they need specialised ADHD tools for their organising clients, and this will give them the confidence to grow their business.
This is a fantastic opportunity to help create awareness of the potential of an ADHD connection to hoarding and the deeper aspect how Professional Organisers can support and work with people.
I am looking forward to meeting and working with Mandi, who I feel is exceptionally brave to invite me into her home – this is the part of her journey of looking towards holistic healing for hoarding and I am truly happy to be part of this and work with her.

How do I Stay Sane Amid the Chaos?

This project was only finalised a week before the filming session. In just two 10 minute calls, it was all booked!  It was  a total shock! From one minute to the next!

To top it all off, this Saturday, 19th September is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Cooking and preparing for Rosh Hashanah is a mammoth task. When this came up last week, I didn’t say like most women I know would say, “I simply can’t do this because I need to prepare.” Or “I will do this but how will I manage this? I will just have to be OK with being totally overwhelmed!” I did a quick mental calculation, and agreed to this commitment. And I committed to be calm, focused and to get to bed on time during the lead up  to the event and most importantly afterwards as well.

Here is how I am staying sane!

  • I have pushed through so many fears in my life, that this new experience actually invigorated me! My family couldn’t get over that I was totally chilled! Yes! That is what happens when you push through your fears enough times…
  • My main focus during this past week has been to KEEP TO A SIMPLE ROUTINE!!! and not take on new commitments… Before an event, it is such a danger to just push in more commitments and take on more jobs. “I will just do…” This is such a trap! The week before you embark on any new project/trip etc you MUST slow down and focus inwards.
  • Doing the washing and making sure the house is stocked with food, and keeping things flowing smoothly on the home front is so very important. I will only be away for the day, but it is so important for the family to still feel a sense of stability when I will be away.
  • My main focus is to get to bed EARLY or at least ON TIME in the days leading up to my trip and afterwards.
  • I have written a short list of to-do tasks for the day after I get back. I am sure I will be tired, and my working memory will be taxed. The list will help to ground me and helps me to TRANSITION onwards… 
  • Most importantly I DON’T plan to get things PERFECT!!! I know there will be mistakes/mishaps on the actual filming and on the home front etc and that is OK. I am OK. My parenting is OK.

Read Dr Russell Barkley's Response to this Post!

I was so excited to receive an email from Dr Russell Barkley who  kindly responded to my email campaign, in which I shared this post.

Dr Russell Barkley is THE foremost ADHD researcher in the world. He responded only a few hours after he received the email campaign.

Here is his response:

Russell Barkley

20:30 (40 minutes ago)

 
to Faigy
Yes, at least two studies have found a higher rate of hoarding in adulthood in people who had childhood ADHD and also that people who hoard have a higher occurrence of ADHD as a comorbid disorder.  Even so, the overlap is small occurring in a minority of cases of each but it is significant.
 
Be well,
 

Russ

Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D.
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry 
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
Richmond, VA

Websites:  russellbarkley.org

 

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