Ask Sam letter


To Sam

The child of a hoarder.

Hi Sam. I wanted to write in as recently over the last year I have found that I’m really beginning to struggle with a particular issue.

I am a child of a hoarder and it‘s crushing. I find myself tidying and tidying and tidying but i never seem to be able to get anywhere as it all comes back.

It has made me feel isolated for years now as it has been a big issue for years. Mainly ever since my dad left and we had to move due to debts.

I understand it isn‘t her fault but i feel really forgotten about when it comes to how it affects me. But then I feel like I can‘t reach out to anyone about it in fear someone says its neglect or worse and only make things worse.

I have been stuck in this cycle for years and I’m now drained physically, mentally and emotionally and now come christmas with no where to sit and eat i feel like ive lost all hope.

i only have two questions now.


and what do i do bow with feeling like im at a dead end?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Hoarding is when someone finds it difficult to throw things away. They might keep so many things that it gets in the way of living daily life. It's a mental health problem that can often be a symptom of other mental health problems, like depression or obsessive compulsive disorder, which is sometimes called OCD. Sometimes people who hoard don't realise there’s a problem. Or sometimes they know there’s a problem, but they’re too ashamed to get help.

Home is supposed to be a place where you feel comfortable and able to be yourself. Some people find it difficult to relax if there’s lots of clutter. If your parents have a hoarding problem then it might be hard for you to feel comfortable at home. You need space to do school work, places to eat and places to sleep without being surrounded by clutter.

This is a problem for you and that shouldn't be ignored. You shouldn't have to put your life on hold for anyone else - even your mum. Your mum has a problem and it sounds like both of you need some help.

There is help out there for people who hoard. The kind of help you can get will depend on if your mum agrees to it or not. If your mum agrees there's a problem then one of the best places to begin is her GP. They would be able to look at some mental health support which could help your mum with the problems that lead to hoarding.

If your mum doesn't agree that there's a problem then you might need to talk to someone like social services. I can understand that you're nervous about doing this because you don't want them to say you're being neglected. But if that is what's happening, the best thing to do is to get it sorted out. Your mum needs to make sure she’s providing a safe, healthy home for you to live in. If she doesn't think there's a problem, then a visit from a social worker might help her to see that there is.

I'd recommend telling your mum how this makes you feel. Most importantly you need to say what you would like to happen. If she doesn't want to get help, you could explain that you feel like you need a social worker to help. If you wanted to show her my response to your letter you could also do that. There’s also help available for her on the NHS website and OCD UK that you could show her.

Thanks for writing to me, I hope this has helped.

Take care,


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