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Hoarders Behind Closed Doors - Show Recap


Original Air Date:

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Oprah welcomed guests who had previously appeared on the A&E series Hoarders, including: Jennifer & Ron, Jill (via footage), and Linda.

Show Summary:

Inspired by the A&E series Hoarders, Oprah spoke with people who had appeared on the show to get insight into what caused their hoarding and what has happened since filming wrapped for the reality show. Oprah sat down with Jennifer and Ron, Linda, and aired clips from a woman named Jill. Jennifer and Ron, parents of 3 children, were worried about their kids being taken away from them because of the condition of their home. Linda, an empty-nested single mother of 4, had to clean her house to sell as stated in her divorce agreement. Both families had issues far bigger than the clutter in their homes.

Special Highlights:

"Hoarders Behind Closed Doors" featured the following highlights:

  • After footage was shown from Jennifer and Ron's time on the A&E series, they shared that getting the house clean is not the issues, it's dealing with the issues that were driving the addiction.

  • Hoarder treat over-shopping or collecting like some treat work, alcohol, drugs, food, sex, or other addictions, as a way to cope with deeper struggles.

  • The work done after the house is clean is what leads to them becoming their authentic selves, says Peter Walsh.

What to Take Away from the Show:

After watching this episode, it is easy to see that hoarding is just one way that people deal with psychological issues of loneliness, sadness, boredom, or depression. Each person spoke of a moment when their lives changed - both women on the show lost their fathers and struggled to deal with that reality. Instead of seeking help, the women found a way to fill the void and experience a moment of joy by over-shopping and avoiding what was happening around them; eventually they became smothered by their things.

For others, hoarding is a way to stay connected with a lost family member by keeping their possessions close, and it can be a sense of responsibility for a different set of hoarders - feeling that they shouldn't get rid of something they could potentially use at another time.

This episode made the addiction of hoarding something everyone can relate to, as it is often based on very human feelings of loss, fear, and insecurity - emotions everyone can connect with.

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