Media Portrayals of Hoarding and OCD Maintain Harmful Stereotypes


The way the media portrays mental illnesses like hoarding and OCD maintain harmful stereotypes

“With TLC, you almost expect with the narration, the tone of the narration, the clips and how they frame it that there is this carnival barker feel like, ‘Look at these crazy people!’” Jennifer L. Pozner, author of “Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth about Guilty Pleasure TV,” said in an interview with CNN.

Shows like these make hoarders look like outsiders to the rest of the world, and portray the people cleaning out their houses as saviors. In reality, this is the worst way to help a hoarder, and is most likely causing more harm than good.

Having the hoarders consent to clean up their house is necessary, because without it the hoarder may become further attached to their items, according to the International OCD Foundation.

This attachment is clearly shown as the hoarders anxiously allow television crews into their homes and are depicted yelling and screaming as the crew tries to throw away the hoarder’s belongings.”

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