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‘Mountains Of Trash’ Inside Car Blamed For Crash (Local6). This person is in need of serious mental health services. I don’t want to think about what it looks like inside her house.

Mountains of trash stuffed inside a woman’s car in Cape Cod, Mass., caused the car to accelerate and crash, according to police. Police in West Yarmouth said there was so much trash in 53-year-old Ann Ann Biglan’s Ford Focus that some of it fell onto the gas and brake pedals, causing her to lose control.

Believe it or not, there’s a vehicle I see fairly regularly around downtown Durham that looks like this, except it’s an old station wagon-esque car.  I never see anyone driving it, but it’s clear that someone is getting in and moving the beast because it’s not always in the same place.

There is only enough room for the driver to get in, and even then, the dash trash on the driver’s side is perilously high. The paper/trash is even higher on the passenger side than in that picture from Massachusetts.

Compulsive hoarding, which is what’s going on here, has to be debilitating for both the person with the disorder and those close to them.

Humans appear to be the only species that takes hoarding to pathological excess. In extreme cases, compulsive hoarders may fill their houses so full of stuff that they can no longer use the bed, the table, or even entire rooms. They can’t invite friends over. They can’t keep track of their bills. They can’t organize themselves sufficiently to hold a job. As they age and their memories fade, they may no longer even remember what they’ve been hoarding. One 61-year-old man who attends the Clutter Workshop, a support group in Hartford, Connecticut, gathered so many books, papers, and pieces of junk mail that he filled as much of the house as his wife would tolerate. Somewhere in there he lost a six-figure check for the sale of his parents’ house. “You can’t imagine my total embarrassment at having to call the attorney and ask for a new one,” he says.

…Compulsive hoarding, unlike obsessive-compulsive disorder, does not respond to treatment with antidepressant drugs, and unlike sufferers of obsessive-compulsive disorder, hoarders actually enjoy being surrounded by all their stuff. “Hoarding seems to be more like compulsive gambling or compulsive shopping because it’s pleasurable to the person,” Maltby says.

See more at Squalor Survivors.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding