Friday, November 21, 2008

Screaming Fleas and Possible Help for Hoarders

I received the email below from a television producer who is working on a documentary series about compulsive hoarding. If it holds true to the spirit that the producer describes, this could be a welcome and worthwhile effort that will help raise awareness of hoarding. Of course, I can't endorse the project until we see what comes out of the editing room, but if you're interested in participating, please contact the producer directly.
Dear Hoarderson,

I am working on a groundbreaking new documentary series on compulsive hoarding that will provide a team of professionals that can help those in need get started cleaning their home, no matter how big or full. Right now I am in the process of connecting with companies and professionals who have experience dealing with compulsive hoarders and who may be able to refer them to me. I came across your blog and thought you might be interested in passing our contact information along via the website.

We are not trying to exploit or paint anyone in a bad light. We’re trying to spread awareness and understanding of this underreported disorder. We’re looking for compulsive hoarders who are at a crisis point, and need to make a change in their lives. As I mentioned we would provide a therapist, and professional cleaner and/or organizer to guide the guest through this difficult process.

I understand the very personal and private nature of compulsive hoarding, and don’t want to push anyone into doing something they are not comfortable with. We are simply hoping that people will be willing to share their stories so that other compulsive hoarders will realize they aren’t alone and can get the help they need.

Because of the private nature of this disorder, we understand that contact information can’t be given directly to us. So, we just ask that you pass our information along and people can contact me if they are willing to share their stories.

I’ve attached some information on what the show will focus on and who would be a good match for this project. Please don’t hesitate to call if you have any additional questions.

Warm regards,

Abby Lautt
Associate Producer
Screaming Flea Productions
206.763.3383 ext. 239
Here is the additional information that she mentioned:

Compulsive hoarding is a very serious problem affecting millions of Americans and their friends and families. But little is known about this disorder, and too often hoarders are misunderstood and can’t find the help they need.

We are casting for a groundbreaking new documentary television series that will provide a team of professionals that can help those in need get started cleaning their home, no matter how big or how full. No project is too big. A therapist and/or professional organizer will also be on hand to help guide our guest through this difficult process. Whether or not the guest is ready and able to clean out their entire home in this short period of time, with the assistance and guidance of a professional, they will learn valuable skills which will allow them to complete the task at their own pace and keep them from repeating the hoarding behavior in the future.

We are looking for people (as well as their friends and family if possible) willing to spend 3-5 days sharing their stories in the hopes of raising awareness for this misunderstood and underreported disorder. We understand that compulsive hoarding is an extremely emotional and difficult disorder, and it is our hope that by sharing the personal stories of our guests it will help others realize they are not alone, so they can get the help they need.

We are looking for people whose lives are in crisis because of their compulsive hoarding. The crisis can take an form. For example:
  • They are about to lose their homes
  • Their spouse is threatening to leave
  • They have health issues caused by the chaos
  • They have to find tax papers so the IRS doesn’t audit them
  • Their kids are threatening to cut them off
  • Or any other major issue that can only be resolved by cleaning out their home immediately!
There is no cost to the guest. All clean up services are paid for in exchange for participating in the show. Our hope is that this groundbreaking new documentary television series helps the general public better understand compulsive hoarding while helping compulsive hoarders resolve a crisis.

If you or someone you know is a compulsive hoarder please contact us immediately at:

I understand the private nature of compulsive hoarding and am available to answer any questions or concerns you or your friends and family might have. Please don’t hesitate to contact me, and I will be happy to discuss your concerns. I can be reached directly at: 206-763-3383 ext. 239.

Abby Lautt, Associate Producer
Screaming Flea Productions
206.763.3383 ext. 239