Menifee is a community with a population of about 90,000 residents. Mental health professionals estimate that Menifee likely has about 180 to 400 people suffering from hoarding disorder. (The rate of people with hoarding disorder is thought to be between 2 and 5 percent.)
Of the total number of people in Menifee with hoarding disorder, an undefined percentage primarily hoard food items. The hoarding of food items can prove to be particularly hazardous to the safety and welfare of a hoarder and other people as well.
The Larder Hoarder
Larder hoarding, or food hoarding, represents a more common derivation of hoarding disorder than many people in Menifee realize. A food hoarder stores or stockpiles excessive amounts of foodstuff in their homes.
When it comes to considering food hoarding, a distinction needs to be made between hoarding disorder demonstrated by excessive accumulation of food items and reasonable stockpiling of reserve food items in the event of an emergency situation like a natural disaster or loss of a job. In this day and age, a growing segment of the population stores food for emergency purposes. Some of these individuals are classified as survivalists.
There are survivalists in Menifee. Some Menifee survivalists exhibit more extreme behavior when it comes to storing food reserves than is the case with the bulk of the general population. With that recognized, even though a typical survivalist will store a good amount of food, his or her conduct in doing so does not qualify as a type of hoarding disorder.
When it comes to identifying a food hoarding, the key is that this type of hoarder has a truly inordinate fear of losing everything. Losing everything does not just mean fear of lacking a portion of food at some indeterminate future point in time. Losing everything literally means that a food hoarder is nearly obsessed with the idea that he or should end up being stripped of everything.
Assisting a Food Hoarder
As is the case with anyone diagnosed with hoarding disorder, a food hoarder can be terribly hard to reason with. A food hoarder will deeply believe that he or she is taking appropriate steps to secure his or her safety and future welfare. In a larder hoarder’s mind, people who are not accumulating foodstuffs to the same degree actually pose a threat to his or her welfare. In simple terms, a food hoarder will see others as being untrustworthy individuals who may threaten his or her food supply when a future disaster occurs.
Understanding these basic elements of the thought process of a food hoarder, approaching a person with this type of hoarding issue is extremely challenging. The immediate response of a food hoarder to a person who suggests that something needs to be done with the unnecessary accumulation of food will be negative. The food hoarder is highly likely to think that even a family member or otherwise trusted friend is attempting to steal his or her food, attempting to jeopardize his or her future safety.
Health Issues and the Food Hoarder
In many cases, a food hoarder focuses on accumulating nonperishable food items like canned goods. However, even canned goods have an expiration date. The typical food hoarder pays no attention to expiration dates. Thus, a food hoarder may accumulate outdated food items.
As the volume of hoarded food grows, the hoarder will feel more inclined to consume items. Oftentimes, a person will eat something that has passed the expiration date. In some instances, this can result in a food hoarder become ill, sometimes significantly so. Every year, there are Menifee residents with hoarding disorder who end up eating something that makes them ill because the food item was beyond the expiration date.
Hoarding of Perishable Food Items
An alarming twist to larder hoarding is found with people who hoard perishable food items. These individuals with hoarding disorder end up filling up their refrigerators and freezers in no time at all. When these appliances fill up, that will not necessarily stop a food hoarder from “saving” perishable food items.
There have been cases in which Menifee residents with hoarding disorder is found to have rotting perishable food items throughout their homes. This type of situation results in the presence of biohazards. Rotting food contains dangerous substances that can cause a person to become very ill.
The hoarding of perishable foodstuffs underscores the need for a hoarder property cleanup professional in Menifee. A hoarder property cleanup specialist is best able to thoroughly remediate a hoarding situation, including one involving a food hoarder.