On Sunday, the Seattle PI news reported that a Connecticut hoarder died on Saturday after her first floor crashed into her basement. The cave-in crushed the woman underneath a mountain of clutter. Connecticut officials identified the deceased woman as Beverly Mitchell, 66. On Thursday, a mail carrier became concerned after Mitchell’s mail began piling up. He called the police to do a welfare check on the elderly woman. Officers didn’t locate Mitchell. They had assumed she wasn’t home. On Friday, they realized the entire first floor had crumbled from the weight of Mitchell’s clutter.
Officials reported that clutter was waist high and even rose to the ceiling in other areas. The clutter was so immense, authorities had to cut a hole into the home and use a backhoe to remove enough debris to enter. They found Mitchell’s body on Saturday. In the past, local police and social services had tried to help Mitchell with her hoarding problem. She refused their help. Police continue to seek Mitchell’s relatives.
According to WebMD, hoarding has become widely known after the program “Hoarders” provided viewers with an inside look at hoarding. Hoarding can cause health problems, and affect families and neighborhoods. The WebMD site says hoarding isn’t so simple that it can be fixed with a garbage bag. David Tolin, Ph.D., told WebMD that when people cannot cook or live safely in their home because of excessive clutter, it’s crossing the line.
Time’s website takes hoarding a step further and states that hoarders have a different brain activity than a non-hoarder. Hoarding has always been considered a symptom of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). New medical research has learned this may no longer be true. The article mentions the brain activity from someone with OCS is different from a hoarder. Soon, hoarding may receive its own diagnosis.