What Are The Symptoms of Hoarding Disorder

Hoarding Syndrome, and the symptoms of hoarding disorder, affects some 1 in 50 people in the US alone. It is categorized as an anxiety disorder and in many cases requires treatment from a psychiatrist. It can also be mild and cause very little interference with their life.

If you’re concerned that a loved one may have a hoarding disorder, consider the following common symptoms of hoarding syndrome.

A Persistent Need to Keep Unnecessary Items

Individuals suffering from this condition often have an overwhelming need to keep unnecessary items. Magazines, newspapers, and even trash can be difficult for people to toss in the garage, leading to seriously unsanitary conditions that can cause health issues.


People who have hoarding disorder often completely deny there is a problem. Hoarding is characterized by a stubborn refusal to agree to let go of items. Even friends and family who are adamant about cleaning the home can be met with a hostile response. Denial of any issue is one of the key signs there is a problem.

Difficulty Giving Away or Throwing Away Items

People who are hoarders typically have extreme difficulty giving away or throwing away their belongings. They experience severe anxiety over parting with anything they own. They may also lose important items among the clutter leading to even more frustration and anxiety. Most often, they feel that each item holds some significant emotional importance, and therefore feel uncomfortable getting rid of it.

Perfectionism, Avoidance, Indecisiveness

In addition to the anxiety over getting rid of belongings, people with hoarding syndrome also experience other emotional issues. Perfectionism, which is characterized by anger, depression and anxiety over not being perfect, avoidance or avoiding any situation or issue that causes anxiety, and indecisiveness are tell-tale signs that the individual is suffering. When coupled with an inability to give up old belongings, this is a definitive symptom of hoarding disorder.

Hoarding is a serious psychological illness that requires professional help to overcome. With proper treatment, however, former hoarders can live a long and happy life. If you know of someone in your family who needs assistance with Hoarding Disorder, contact me for a consultation.

Read More

When Hoarding Gets out of Hand, There’s Help

Help with Hoarding

Hoarding is a pattern of behavior that is characterized by compulsive purchasing, acquiring, searching, and saving items. a person with a hoarding disorder may have persistent difficulty parting with possessions. “Hoarding” is now considered a form of mental illness but can be a symptoms of another disorder as well. The result of this disorder can create cramped and unsanitary living conditions, health problems, and serious conflict with family members.

I can help. My team and I at Sue Wallace CSA can assist your loved one if they’re experiencing mild hoarding behaviors. We don’t treat the symptoms ­– that’s the job of mental health providers.

We do pave the way for better understanding of what is important by gently and lovingly building a relationship of trust. Little by little, as we are accepted, we roll up our sleeves and get to work by organizing, discarding unnecessary items, and finding storage options for the important things. The process then becomes similar to when one cleans out a room or house. The following is a series of quotes that may help us as we decide what to do with our stuff:

  1. Only keep things that “spark” joy.
  2. Don’t hold onto things from the past.
  3. Don’t’ hold onto things for the future: live in the now!
Read More

Identity Theft and Seniors

identity_theft and seniorsIdentity Theft and Seniors – It’s not a matter of “If” but “When”

I want to share with you a couple of recent experiences that happened to me all in one week,

1) Attempts to steal my identity, and

2) Suspected fraud in my personal bank account.

A few years ago, I heard a presentation by a fraud detective from the Fort Worth, Texas police department.  At the end of his talk, he said, “Bottom line, it is not “IF, but WHEN” someone will attempt to steal your identity. That quote has always stuck with me.  I understand IDENTITY THEFT is becoming one of the top crimes in America today.

Following is my story:  I received a call on a Saturday morning from

Read More

Who’s in control of YOUR life?


I think January is a good time to think about new beginnings.  I, personally, gave up making resolutions several years ago because making them seemed to set me up for failure. Instead, I try to approach each day attempting to do something better than I did the day before.  Does this always happen?  I wish I could tell you it does but that would not be truthful.  But when I do succeed in using this approach; it gives me another chance to either improve myself or do something that makes a difference in the life of someone else.

For me, I start my day by having some “ME” time.  Mornings work better for me because my mind is fresh after resting for a while and it seems “life” is always getting in the way or I am too tried to have that “ME” time at the end of the day.  I begin by reading something that will feed my mind.  This can be something spiritual, personally I enjoy reading verses in my Bible and/or I read something motivational or inspirational.

Read More

Isn’t It Time You “Paid It Forward” Or Performed A “Random Act Of Kindness”


To me, paying it forward or participating in a random act of kindness is doing something, either big or small, for another person without their knowledge of who performed the good deed.  Any random act of kindness can cause a positive ripple effect restoring our faith in the love and compassion of the human spirit.  I love the following quote; “Kindness like a boomerang, always returns” Author Unknown.  

Read More

Developing a Spirit of Gratefulness

gratitudeby Sue Wallace, Certified Senior Advisor

It is the time of the year where we should stop and give thanks for all the many blessings we enjoy each and every day. Following are several quotes on being “grateful”. My hope and prayer is you find something that you can apply to whatever is going on in your life.

  • “Be thankful for what you have. Your life, no matter how bad you think it is, is someone else’s fairy tale.”
    • Brene’ Brown
  • “Happiness isn’t complicated. It is a humble state of gratitude for simple pleasures, tender mercies, recognized blessings, and inherent beauty.”
    • Richelle E. Goodrich
  • “When you focus on gratitude, positive things flow in more readily, making you even more grateful.”
    • Lissa Rankin
  • “It is not what happens to you or for you that makes you grateful. It’s how you respond to what is happening, that shows your belief about gratitude.”
    • Summer Davenport
  • “More Miracles occur from Gratitude and Forgiveness than anything else.”
    • Philip H. Friedman
  • “If you aren’t happy for what you already have then what makes you think you will be happy with more.”
    • Maddy Malhotra
  • “Perhaps gratitude and love are one and the same.”
    • Erica Goros
  • “Thankfulness creates gratitude, which generates contentment that causes peace.”
    • Todd Stocker
  • “Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.”
    • Henri Frederic Amiel
  • “If you want to find happiness, find gratitude.”
    • Steve Maraboli
  • “Gratitude also opens your eyes to the limitless potential of the universe, while dissatisfaction closes your eyes to it.”
    • Stephen Richards
  • “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”
    • William Arthur Ward
  • “Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.”
    • W. T. Purkiser
  • “When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.”
    • Anthony Robbins
  • “The unthankful heart discovers no mercies, but the thankful heart will fine, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.”
    • Henry Ward Beecher
  • “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”
    • Eckhart Tolle
  • “If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”
    • Meister Eckhart
  • We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”
    • John F. Kennedy
  • “When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
    • Maya Angelou
  • “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”
    • Cicero
  • “We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count.”
    • Neal A. Maxwell

In conclusion, I wish you and yours a blessed and joyous Thanksgiving season filled with grateful hearts. Join me as we begin each day by saying “Good Morning God” and spend time looking for the many grateful moments that surround us. Remember, part of the blessing is sharing our gratefulness with others.


Read More

Are you ready for Obama Care?

PPACA_QuestionsImportant Update: The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act

(Commonly Called Obama Care)

Did you know that beginning in January, 2014, all Americans will face a tax penalty if they do not obtain healthcare insurance? The open enrollment period begins October 1, 2013.

Beginning January, 2014 you must have coverage for yourself and all children under the age of 26.

For more information visit:

www.HealthCare.gov, or call one of the following hotline numbers:

Employers – 1-800-703-7893, Individuals – 1-800-318-2596

Read More