My hoarding habit is ruining my life

DEAR DEIDRE: I CAN’T stop hoarding and it’s ruining my life.

I’m a man of 45 and I’ve always had a problem with being messy. My mum was a hoarder, too.

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I am chronically untidy and can’t bring myself to throw anything away.

People have always commented on it, usually making jokes about it.

I think it’s one reason my ex-wife had enough of me.

But it’s got a lot worse since my divorce. I’ve got old football programmes dating back to childhood, newspapers, books and clothes piled everywhere.

There is now so much clutter in my flat that I’m ashamed to let anybody come in.

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It’s like living on a rubbish tip.

I don’t think I’ll be able to have another relationship again

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DEIDRE SAYS:  Often, a hoarding disorder runs in families. It is thought to relate to OCD and affects slightly more men than women.

Stress can make the problem worse, which is why your divorce might have been the catalyst for it to spiral.

For help, please contact (020 3239 1600).

Mind, the mental health charity, also has pages dedicated to this subject (

Cognitive behavioural therapy can help, so please contact your GP about this.

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