BN.com Gift Guide
Customer Reviews for

Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things

Average Rating 4
( 57 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(5)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Comprehensive and Compassionate View of a Serious Illness

Hoarding, an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, is one of the last taboo mental illnesses. The suffers and their families generally hide the problem from friends, co-workers, neighbors and even other loved ones because of the shame associated with the problem. I...
Hoarding, an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, is one of the last taboo mental illnesses. The suffers and their families generally hide the problem from friends, co-workers, neighbors and even other loved ones because of the shame associated with the problem. In Stuff by professors Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee, the authors explore the causes, manifestations, and therapeutic treatment of the condition.

Hoarding is defined "not by the number of possessions, but how the acquisition and management of those possessions affects their owners. When hoarding causes distress or impairs one's ability to perform basic functions, it has crossed the lines into pathology." Certain traits are associated with hoarding: perfectionism, indecision, and strong attachment issues to "things." Interestingly, many hoarders are creative and intelligent individuals who are able to see the potential for items that most would discard as trash. Unfortunately, however, this "gift" leads hoarders to be unable to part with newspapers, magazines, old clothing, plastic containers, slips of paper and much, much more.

Treatment for hoarding is vastly more complicated than simply a forced cleaning of hoarders' homes. As the authors explain:

One of the worst experiences for someone with a hoarding problem occurs when another person or crew clear out the home . . . . [B]ecause of the hoarder's difficulties with organization, the piles often contain much more than trash. . . . [U]nder the decades-old newspaper may be the title to the person's car or the diamond ring she lost years before. These scenarios almost always leave the hoarder feeling as if his or her valued possessions have been taken away, which may be the case. Beyond this, most hoarders have a sense of where things are amid the clutter. When someone moves or discards even a portion of it, this sense of "order" is destroyed. We know of several cases in which hoarders have committed suicide following a forced cleanout.

So what does work? Based on the case studies in Stuff it appears that hands-on therapy where the therapist guides the hoarder through the thought processes to discarding their possessions is the best method. However, this is no easy feat. According to Drs. Frost and Steketee, a combination of "[c]ontrolling one's thinking may take a lifetime of effort for people with serious hoarding problems.

I highly recommend Stuff for both suffers and their family/friends (as well as for those who are simply curious about the condition)! While it may not "cure" the problem is does compassionately and thoroughly explain a profound mental illness.




Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (April 20, 2010), 304 pages.
Review based on a borrowed library book.

posted by LegalBeagle on May 9, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

WOW!!! This is a scary idea, people's stuff is taking over lives.

Well that was disturbing. I see lots of people I know and a bit of myself in these pages. I have a hard time getting rid of things so that I have a set of rules for new things coming in the house. Something comes in, something goes out, or the new item goes back to wher...
Well that was disturbing. I see lots of people I know and a bit of myself in these pages. I have a hard time getting rid of things so that I have a set of rules for new things coming in the house. Something comes in, something goes out, or the new item goes back to where it came from. The idea of living in a house or apartment with halls created by piles of papers and junk scares me. My kids have to do that same thing and I clean out there rooms a few times a year to be sure they are not collecting to many things and especially garbage(Lego boxes, old school papers, instructions and boxes to items they bought that don't need to be kept.)
This was an eye opening look at how bad Hoarding can get, scary scary scary. This makes me want to spend my next day off cleaning out things we don't use much any more. I will bring less into the house this holiday season. We all need experiences more then we need more stuff. Stuff has to be dusted,cared for,organized,and it takes time from us, but experiences make only memories.

posted by bookhimdanno on December 18, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 8 review with 2 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2014

    Lore's

    In luv!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 review with 2 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1