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neroli

What is the first helping step for my sister?

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Hi, I am hoping someone can guide me from here. i am concerned about my sister age 50. I suspect she has hoarding OCD. She is single, lives with my mom. She works in an office job and is constantly bombarded with been overworked. There is no space left to move in the home for junk! She has a very low self esteem, very intellegent, over weight, single. Her social partner is my mum.

My biggest concern is really for my mum who has to live in a cluttered house. has has no proper bed, the house is falling apart her health is at risk. I am married with small children and if my mum moves in it may as well be the end of my marraige also my mother will not move away from my sister.

I have approached my sister on seveeral occassions. She just cries and usually puts herself down and then she just phases out and nothing ever moves on. I have spoken to our doctor but his advice is 'she needs to want to help herself'. Am I in the right place here. Can anyone guide me as to how to approach this properly> Any advice would be very much appreciated.

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Hi and welcome to the forum.

Im sorry you are all having such a distressing time. There is some information on the main website about hoarding http://www.ocduk.org/hoarding There are also two books in the shop http://www.ocdshop.com/product_info.php?cPath=1&products_id=159 and http://www.ocdshop.com/product_info.php?cPath=1&products_id=99 Understanding what is happening and why can really help.

So can I ask, has your sister taken over your Mum's room as well? Why doesnt she have a proper bed? Rather than approaching your sister about clearing the house, would she let you go with her to see the doctor to start the process of getting some help? Tell her that there is a life out there for her and this would be the first step to finding it, she doesnt want to live the rest of her life like this. I think also, if nothing else, you have to get her to agree to creating space for your Mum and help her do it, be firm, but Im not sure she can do it by herself.

Carol

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Hi carol, thank you so much for your reply. i have written a letter to my sister which i hope to give her today. This is the only way I know how to try to get to her to hear out what i feel needs to be done. i am feeling physically sick with anxiety and frustration as to what her response will be, but this needs to be done now. i will let you know the outcome.

Thanks again

Neroli

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Good luck, but just remember even if she is annoyed with you, you dont want your mother to live the rest of her life like this.

Let us know what happens.

Carol

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... She has a very low self esteem, very intellegent, over weight, single. Her social partner is my mum.

I have approached my sister on several occasions. She just cries and usually puts herself down and then she just phases out and nothing ever moves on.

I suspect that your sister feels very much alone. I also feel, in answer to your question, that your first move should be a demonstration of your understanding of her illness. We all draw strength from support and encouragement of others; a strength we can't muster when we feel alone. OCD is so powerful that it dominates a person's every thought and action, and, to stand any chance of fighting it, you will have to be there for her - without being openly critical. There's little chance of success if you're non-supportive or confrontational in your approach.

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