The Collyer brothers, with their bicycle-, chandelier- and newspaper-packed Harlem apartment, may have been the most famous sufferers of compulsive hoarding (see the recent biography Ghosty Men by Franz Lidz), but this syndrome affects several million Americans, according to the authors of this excellent, easy-to-understand handbook. The authors, two psychologists and a psychiatrist, all experts in treating forms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, define the syndrome as""the acquisition and saving of possessions that have little or no value"" or a value perceived only by the hoarder, who""has great difficulty"" discarding the objects. The book offers case histories showing how damaging the syndrome can be to one's relationships and quality of life, self-assessment exercises and, most usefully, a discussion of treatment options, from self-help strategies using cognitive therapy to outside professional help.
Reviewed on: 01/01/2004 Release date: 07/01/2004 Genre: Nonfiction
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