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|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||8|
|No. of episodes||109 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||42 to 48 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Screaming Flea Productions|
|Original network||A&E, Lifetime|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Original release||August 17, 2009– Present|
Hoarders is a U.S. documentary series that originally debuted on A&E which depicted the real-life struggles and treatment of people who suffer from compulsive hoarding disorder. The series premiered on August 17, 2009 and concluded its original run on February 4, 2013, after six seasons.
Over a year after the program's original cancellation in 2013, Lifetime began airing a series of weekly "Where Are They Now?" episodes on June 2, 2014. This led to the production of a seventh season, Hoarders: Family Secrets, which aired on Lifetime from May 28, 2015 to July 30, 2015.
The program returned to A&E for an eighth season which began January 3, 2016. A ninth season began on August 21, 2016, under the title: Hoarders: Then and Now. Each broadcast presents an episode from earlier seasons, ending with a present-day visit to one of its featured hoarders by the therapist or organizer who worked with him/her. Interviews with the hoarder and his/her family reveal how their lives have progressed since their first appearance on the show.
Each 60-minute episode profiles one or two interventions. During most of the first season, the hoarder worked with either a psychiatrist/psychologist, a professional organizer, or an "extreme cleaning specialist," each of whom specialized in some aspect involving the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorders, anxiety disorders, and/or hoarding. A crew of professional cleaners (usually a local franchise of the series' major corporate sponsor) performed actual cleanups. Two episodes in the first season featured a cleanup with both a psychologist and an organizer: Jill (episode "Jennifer and Ron/Jill") and Patty (episode "Patty/Bill"). The final episode of the first season, "Paul/Missy and Alex" featured professional organizer, Geralin Thomas, CPO-CD working with Missy, while a child psychologist, Dr. David Dia, worked with Missy's seven-year-old son Alex. Beginning in the second season, each hoarder had a psychologist-plus-organizer/cleaning specialist team assisting them in their cleanup. The psychologist-plus-organizer/cleaning specialist combination leads a group of cleaning professionals, family, friends, and relatives of the hoarder in conducting a two- to three-day decluttering session. The cleanups aim both to teach the hoarder new ways of thinking and patterns of behavior and to make the home a liveable and usable space. In most instances a crisis prompts the intervention, such as the threat of eviction or the removal of minor children from the home.
At the end of each episode, on-screen text indicates the short-term outcome of the cleanup effort, including the subjects' decisions on whether to seek further assistance from organizers and/or therapists. The show provides six months of aftercare funds to pay these professionals and, occasionally, to carry out vital repairs to the home.
Each of the "Where Are They Now?" episodes on Lifetime revisits two or more hoarders, showing clips from their original appearances followed by newer footage detailing the progress they have made since they were featured on the show.
With the release of DSM-5 in 2013, hoarding was classified as a separate disorder. During show's original run, hoarding behaviors were considered symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Hoarding does show links to obsessive and compulsive behaviors; however, it also shows connections to Major Depressive Disorder as well as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Hoarding could have simply remained a symptom and been included under multiple disorders. However, treating the comorbid disorders in a patient often does not eliminate hoarding behaviors. Another significant factor in the disorder’s reclassification was the discovery that more people could be diagnosed with hoarding behaviors than could be diagnosed with OCD. This showed that hoarding could not be a subtype of OCD. Rather, it had to be a separate illness with similarities (the fear of letting go being the obsession, and the hoarding of unneeded items as the compulsion). These similarities are recognized in the DSM-5, as hoarding is classified under the heading of “Obsessive Compulsive Related Disorders.” Other disorders in this category include Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Trichotillomania, and Excoriation. These disorders share common features “such as obsessive preoccupation and repetitive behaviors.”
The role of documentary shows like Hoarders in the change of classification is unclear. However, some believe the rise in awareness caused by them was a significant contributing factor. When hoarding became a buzzword, it “commanded a significant amount of professional…attention”. Studies that may have been prompted by this could have aided in revealing the disorder as the unique and complex illness it truly is.
At the time of its premiere, Hoarders was the most-watched series premiere in A&E network history among adults aged 18–49 and tied for the most ever in the adults aged 25–54 demographic. The premiere was watched by 2.5 million viewers: 1.8 million adults aged 18–49.
- "A&E Premieres New Original Nonfiction Series "Hoarders"". The Futon Critic. August 11, 2009.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (September 25, 2013). "'Hoarders' Canceled by A&E after Six Seasons". TV by the Numbers.
- "Hoarders Update on Lifetime Could Revive Show". May 31, 2014.
- "New Episodes of Hoarders in Production". Mar 15, 2015.
- "Aftercare — Home cleaning". A&E Community. Retrieved 27 February 2012.
This is Cory Chalmers from Hoarders and as part of my business, we offer regularly scheduled cleaning for every hoarding case we help with.
- Hall, Brian; Tolin, David; Frost, Randy; Steketee, Gail (2013). "An exploration of comorbid symptoms and clinical correlates of clinically significant hoarding symptoms". Depression and Anxiety. 30: 67–76. doi:10.1002/da.22015.
- Marchland, Shoshana; Phillips McEnany, Geoffry (September 2012). "Hoarding's place in the DSM-5: Another symptom, or a newly listed disorder?". Issues in Mental Health Nursing. 33: 593–597.
- Hiller, Anne. "Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders" (PDF). dsm5.org. American Psychiatric Publishing.
- Seidman, Robert (August 18, 2009). "Hoarders has best premiere ever for A&E with adults 18–49". TV by the Numbers (Press release).