Hoarding disorder gets prime-time treatment

November 30, 2009 6:11:05 AM PST
Residents of a Jacksonville, Fla., neighborhood were shocked when a neighbor was found dead in her home in October, surrounded by six feet of garbage.

Carina DeOcampo ('DEE-oh COMP-oh) was a hoarder.

This year, compulsive hoarders are in the spotlight. Books, movies and TV's "Hoarders" - a popular A&E reality show that begins its second season Nov. 30 - have all brought the disorder out of its shame-filled past.

Several advocacy groups estimate that about 2 million people in the U.S. suffer from the obsessive-compulsive mental health disorder.

Experts say there are pros and cons to the attention the disorder is now getting. On one hand, they worry that the media is sensationalizing the problem. But they concede any attention may entice people who suffer from the disorder to obtain help.