I created the word Disposophobia in 1980
Why Should You Listen to Me?
Experience and wisdom.
In 1980, I discovered a 75 year old retired social worker, known as a “hoarder,’. She lived in a high rise apartment building in New Yrok City.
The tenant above this hoarder, had a massive leak. Water rained down on her apartment and several below.
They Called Disaster Masters®
My company, Disaster Masters was the designated disaster response firm in NYC for The Travelers, Hartford and a dozen other insurance companies. I helped several insurance companies mitigate further damage.
It took me from 1980 to 1995 to learn from my clients, the only way to help them recover their lives, over a period of time. In November 2000, MSNBC filmed a documentary on my company, the DISASTER MASTERS®. This documentary showed one of our thousands of clients that have failed to take good care of themselves.
BBC Life of Grime, NY
This one show is the genesis of BBC Life of Grime, New York. Reporters documented my staff and I, over a 3 month period in NYC.
Only one of my clients was allowed to be filmed in this series, as she was a victim of her husband’s behavior. BBC Life of Grime NY was the number one television series in the UK for two years.
Dozens of aggressive TV production companies, including Oprah and Dr. Phil, banged on my doors, wanting to expose hoarders as ugly and freakish. Because that makes great TV on the OMG networks.
Since then, the Disaster Masters®, have restored over 5,000 individuals and families from a life of clutter. We also coached them to manage their possessions and their lives.
Therapy Does Not Help Hoarders
Throughout time, we have recovered hundreds of people, who had been in therapy for years. Therapy did not “fix” any of these clients.
“Therapy” helped feed the therapist. Therapy never cured my clients.
Disposophobia is the Fear of Getting Rid of Stuff.
The National Institiute of Health and American Psychiatric Association call it a “hoarding disorder.”
People with hoarding disorder excessively save items that others may view as worthless.
They have persistent difficulty getting rid of or parting with possessions, leading to clutter that disrupts their ability to use their living or work spaces.American Psychiatric Association
Are Hoarders Insane?
Not according to the NIH.
The hoarding is not better explained by the symptoms of another mental disorder (e.g., obsessions in obsessive-compulsive disorder, decreased energy in major depressive disorder, delusions in schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder, cognitive defects in major neurocognitive disorder, restricted interests in autism spectrum disorder).DSM-5
Disposophobia and Hoarding Are Deadly
Stacks of books and magazines trapped Patrice Lumumba Moore in his Bronx, NY apartment for two days. Neighbors and the Fire Department rescued him.
Books were falling everywhere, and I tried to catch some – that’s where I cut my knees.
I had crates up top. Had my books in crates – you know, them metal crates. I’m lucky I was standing up. If I was down, I’d have been crushed. So I’m a lucky guy.Patrice Lumumba Moore
Ron Alford and his Disaster Masters team removed over 50 industrial-sized bags of garbage from Mr. Moore’s apartment.
Ron Alford Explains Disposophobia
After the apartment was restored, reporter Ben McGrath asked Ron Alford to explain disposophobia.
Ron Alford invented the word disposophobia in 1980.
It’s an affliction, it’s really a disease.
It starts in the head of the people and manifests somewhere on the floor and on horizontal surfaces in their dwelling units.Ron Alford
Disposophobia Destroys Marriages
It starts with one pile of garbage.
Victims live in a small space, because their spouse filled their cluttered residence with hoarded possessions.
I have witnessed hundreds of spouses who are the victims of their husband or wife’s behavior. Hoarding and clutter causes depression and isolation.
However, they enable their spouses to continue cluttering.
A guy’s wife left him. She moved out of the house because the bed couldn’t be used, you know, for its intended purpose. Ron Alford
Ron Alford and Disaster Masters Save Marriages
What doctors do for broken bones and stuff, I do for people who suffer massive clutter.Ron Alford
Therapy Does Not Cure Hoarding / Disposophobia
I will pay a $500.00 Reward to the first person that can show me that therapy cures a hoarder.Ron Alford
How to Help a Hoarder / Disposophobic
I receive thousands of phone calls and e-mails from people who are friends, relatives or victims of a Disposophobic. Everyone wants to know them what they can do to help the hoarder / disposophobic.
The relatives and neighbors who contact me, are in more pain than the disposophobic.
Many questions – one answer. You cannot fix a hoarder.
The fixing must come from within the Disposophobic.
In most cases, friends and relatives enable the disposophobic’s behavior.
If you can get the disposophobic to contact me and ask me for my help, I can help them.
If they do not contact me – nothing will work.
Drugs will not work. Psychotherapy has never worked.
Going into their home and cleaning out the place, while they are out, or under protest will not work for long.
Two Step Process
- Restore their residence.
- Teach hoarders how to think and behave differently.
The change in thinking is the key to long term and meaningful success.
As far as I know, there is no person or firm anywhere in North America, that has over 30 years of experience dealing with these people, or anyone who has a record of accomplishment such as mine.Ron Alford
For those who do speak to me, I have a 85 percent chance to provide the disposophobic with a new and better way to live. They will not feel any loss in the process.
About 15 percent of the time they don’t want to hear what I have to share. These people never follow through.
TL;DR (Too Long. Didn’t Read)
The Hoarding Facts (1:29)
Disposophobia and Ron Alford in the News
Hundreds of radio and television shows invited Ron Alford to discuss disposophobia, hoarding and Disaster Masters. Additionally, many newspapers and magazines interviewed the man who invented the word disposophobia. These are a few samples.