Austin Junk Removal: “Hamburger Hoarding” – The First Documented Case of “Hoarding”

Posted: June 25, 2013 in Uncategorized
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The word “hoarder” did not become a common household word until recently when A&E brought hoarders out of secrecy and into prime time. Millions of Americans tuned in every week to catch a glimpse inside hoarders’ homes and minds. All of a sudden, hoarding was as well-known as the chicken pox.

While hoarding may have only become known among average people recently, the first official acknowledgement of hoarding by psychiatrists came in 1966. The academic paper “Hamburger Hoarding: A Case of Symbolic Cannibalism,” contains the first known description of hoarding behavior.

The paper describes a woman who after experiencing the emotional trauma of a car wreck begins to hoard raw hamburger meat. For two years, the woman bought 2-5 pounds of hamburger meat. Then, the woman began to buy huge qualities of raw hamburger meat each day. Some days, she would buy 60 pounds of meat!

The woman attempted to keep her meat hoarding a secret from her psychiatrists, but when the doctors realized the extent to which the woman was hoarding meat, they insisted she go to a mental hospital. If she wouldn’t check herself in voluntarily, she would be committed.

The woman agreed to check herself into the hospital. While at the hospital, for reasons unspecified in the paper, the woman switched for hoarding hamburger meat to hoarding bread.

The doctors were baffled. They diagnosed the woman with schizophrenia and considered the hoarding behavior to be a manifestation of the disease.

However, with the advanced knowledge of hoarding that psychiatrists now possess, they have re-examined the woman’s symptoms and believe that she was most likely suffering from hoarding tendencies.

For more information on hoarders and the Austin junk removal companies that clean up their hoards, find Dirty Work on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Linkedin


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