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My Grandparents are Hoarders

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I’m 17 and I have depression and anxiety disorder which is very difficult to cope with. But aside from that, my grandparents have custody of me. They are good people and give me my basic needs, but they are verbally abusive and they’re hoarders. Even worse, they’re in denial about there hoarding and verbally abusive behaviors toward me. We have a 4-bedroom home and only one bedroom can be used (mine.) Downstairs every flat surface including the couches are filled with junk. Our two door garage is filled to the ceiling you can’t even walk 2 feet into it. My grandma has built FOUR, yes FOUR, sheds and they’re all full, one of which is falling apart. I try to help and clean but they get mad and if i try to talk to them about it they say I’m disrespectful and ungrateful. I basically have to hide in my room to get away from the mess and the verbal abuse. It’s making it so hard to recover from my problems. I don’t know what to do. I’ve called people about it and they told me they’d send somebody to talk to them and help them but instead somebody came to talk to me about my anxiety which angered me beyond belief because I have a therapist.

I love my grandparents, but I can’t deal with this anymore. It’s making my depression so bad I’ve started self harming as a release from the frustration I feel. They hide it from everybody and when I try to tell somebody they don’t take it seriously. I want to move out as soon as possible and recover from my problems, but I also want to help them and have them get help too. I love them, they just aren’t understanding of anything and they always complain about how my problems stress them out and get in the way, but they never take a moment to realize that a lot of my stress comes from they’re hoarding and the way they treat me. I don’t know what to do, please help me.

My Grandparents are Hoarders

Answered by on -


I am sorry that your situation is causing so much anxiety. From your description their living environment and verbal abuse are creating an unhealthy environment for you. It is time to deal with directly.

I would work out a plan with your therapist or school guidance counselor about contacting the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) in your state. They also have a hotline for you to contact them directly. If you are self-harming because of their poor care, then it is time to let DYFS know so they can see the conditions first hand.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

My Grandparents are Hoarders

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). My Grandparents are Hoarders. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 21 Jan 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.