Hoarders 6.4 – Shanna, Lynda

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  • Cate

    Shanna’s situation was perhaps the worst we’ve ever seen. I have a strong stomach, but even I had to turn away from the toilet situation. I was so, so glad when Dr. Zasio said that Shanna couldn’t live alone – it was abundantly clear she was terribly ill, that she cognitively just did not understand why her living situation struck others as awful. She really did seem to get deep pleasure from defying what she was being told was insupportable. I wish her so well – I hope the help she gets is exactly what she needs, and she grows to love a much healthier life.

    I didn’t really understand what the crux of the problem was between Lynda and her son. It’s hard – we don’t have any right to know that stuff if it’s better kept private, but those segments lost weight for me because I didn’t understand. Knowing the trigger for the hoarding is usually so important to understanding how to heal the situation. (And I’m confident that that was happening off camera, so that’s the most important thing.)

    • We have encountered some incredibly unhealthy lives on this show, but Shanna… I am so happy she’s in a healthy and safe environment. She may never understand cognitively how dangerous her life was, but her family (and we) do. What’s amazing to me about this show is that it is so sympathetic to people with severe illness, and people who are not thought of as mentally ill. It’s so clear to us (by virute of the setting, the editing, having a doctor present) that Shanna was not well, but her family had thought for years that she was just…dirty. If someone could watch this episode and not understand how profoundly unhealthy Shanna was, then I think there’s no hope for them ever understanding.

      I’m right there with you with regards to Lynda’s story. I want to know, I understand that I don’t have the right to know, but – as you say – it makes it difficult to connect with her emotional journey. It makes it hard to connect the dots, and that’s what the show does so well. But I will say that watching Cory and Dr. Green bite the inside of their cheeks as Debbie went off on them, questioning their credentials… Oh, that was priceless!

      • C. Sewell

        I have know Shanna for aproximately a year. She doesnt undersand things when you say no to her. She does only what she wants and she has over stepped and use me in our friendship. She believes she is doing good when she picks up other person things from off of the street….
        Yucky germs and then when you explain to her that they are yucky she doesnt understand due to her issue with her mental illness. Yes we all have issues and our not perfect but this lady needs more help then she has gotten. She takes advantage of situations to suit her. I have distance myself in our friendship due to she has taken advantage of it. I hope and pray that she gets more help. Please GOD help her. She tells people she has been on the HOARDERS SHOW and this leaves a negative inpression on peoples minds. She acts like she is a movie star and proud she was on that show. She needs more support services and I have scene alot of people with mental illness fall through the cracks in society.

      • Billy bib

        Lol. You like shit don’t you you dirty skank?

        Do you like to piss on yourself and fill your panties with shit? You sure do talk about shit a lot.
        I bet you love living in your own shit.
        I like when females shit on themselves,
        Does wine make you fill your panties with shit and lay around in those piss soaked shit plastered panties all day long? What about TV?
        Do you sit around in your shitty panties when you watch hoarders? Is that stupid animated skank up there with the glasses you? How much shit does she have in her panties?

  • Jackie

    Watching Shanna…I started retching. Violently. I watched The episode of poop mountain last season no problems. This…I just couldn’t. Thank GOD she’s in a supervised care environment.

    • It really was just a horrible, horrible situation. I’m glad she’s in a controlled care environment, too.

      • Will

        The bureaucrat’s at the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) in WA. state did an evaluation on Shanna. After a short amount of time they deemed her “capable” of taking care of herself and denied her any help. Shanna lived with her sister and I for 3 months. Shanna’s disability manger sent her a letter stating that her benefits would be cut because she is not living on her own and paying bills. Shanna was actively seeking help thru counselors and case workers. All in which could not find her housing or help. She found residence at a few promising places, all of them fell thru after one to two days.
        She currently resides at a clean and sober residence (she is renting a small room) that houses individuals who are recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. She has been there for 3 weeks. After the 1st day she was there, the couple that run the place called Nola and asked her to come get Shanna because of a severe blow up she had with other tennants. Nola talked to Shanna and the couple and convinced (begged) them to let her stay. They agreed. No agency or State program seem to not have help for Shanna. Her evaluations come back stating she’s normal or capable of taking care of herself. She is waiting to get on section 8 housing in about a year. The waiting list is long. The kind people with A&E’s Hoarders are helping and pushing all they can to get her the help she needs.

        • Cate

          Thank you so much for telling us more about Shanna’s ongoing situation. I’m so sorry to hear that agencies are turning her away – that must be beyond frustrating in an already difficult situation. I’m glad to hear that the Hoarders folks are still present and trying to help, but oh, how I wish there was more help for you all already. I wish you all so much luck and a breakthrough with an agency, somewhere. Take care.

      • Billy bib

        You probably like it. Lol
        I’d like to smell your shit. You probably wouldn’t even use the buckets, lol. You would just piss and shit on yourself and walk around with shit in your panties

  • Tapati

    I am so sorry that Shanna is not getting enough help from Social Services. I think outside of her filthy hoard she probably appears quite cheerful and normal. I would think that a series of photos of that place would be very convincing as well as some quotes pulled from the episode. (I realize it’s too much to ask them to watch it.)

    It was a very triggering episode for me. My mother went through a severe depression after her hysterectomy, when I was a teenager. After a suicide attempt she simply stopped…everything. She sat in her chair with her four poodles piled on and read and watched tv and ate cookies and sandwiches. She stopped letting the dogs out regularly in the little yard and although they were paper-trained she started layering newspaper on top of the first layer of used paper, so layers of dog urine and feces. [She got the idea from her father though she was scornful of it at the time we first saw him do that.] I’ve always had a sensitive nose so I spent that year in my room upstairs which I kept spotless. I never thought of the health hazard until now. The kitchen was too filthy to cook or eat in so I lived on school lunches that year. If my stomach started to hurt I would get a piece of bread, hold it in my left hand and carefully put pickles on it from the jar in the fridge. I had no where safe to put it down or make a real sandwich.

    I am grateful that she didn’t have children in that feces ridden house but once upon a time, she WAS the child in the house. It would seem that she surrendered to it and learned to revel in her survival against such adversity.

    I couldn’t have watched if their were children involved. Those are the most difficult episodes for me for obvious reasons. As in Shanna’s case, when social services were alerted they didn’t get my mom sufficient help. They sent in a home health aide to clean up once (it didn’t last, even though I tried to help) and she had a therapist who kept trying her on meds. But no one removed me from the home. My family told me I should take care of my mother. I was 13.

    I hope that Shanna can get the help she so desperately needs. I hate it that as a society we don’t prioritize social services and mental health services with the funding they deserve.

  • eljeran

    this woman from Bothel, hoarding her own feces is beyond hoarding. She is def. mentally ill. What upsets me is she had brothers and sisters and they allowed their mother to live in this filth. They allowed their mother to be cared for by a woman who lives, sleeps, eats in fecal matter. At least shana has an excuse, she is mentally ill. Her siblings are incomprehensible.

    • You hit the nail on the head: she’s definitely mentally ill. Also, if you watched the program in its entirety you would have seen that no one KNEW it was as bad as it was. Please remember that we on HDJM (and the readers here, which include the families depicted on the show and many of the crew from A&E) approach this show from a place of compassion and learning. We don’t encourage (or want) vitriolic finger pointing.

  • diane Lees

    I have never watched this episode of Hoarders but having read the synopsis and viewed the conditions that this woman, Shanna, lived in my heart goes out to her. Mental illness is still one of the most un-diagnosed conditions and it affects all levels of society, irrespective of finances, genetics etc. I had a friend who is bi-polar and have thought that this condition along with schizophrenia was the worse. I was wrong. Hoarding is so irrational, classless and I believe ultimately one of the hardest to overcome. Good will and love to all.

  • If there was every any doubt whatsoever about biohazards in hoarding situations, this case is a prime example of just how bad it can get.

    Hoarding really is a mental condition. All on its own. It is not a symptom of another condition. It is not learned behavior. It is a real issue that requires real solutions.

    This guide is a one-page, visual and interactive tool that can help family members, friends, social workers, therapists, etc. explain just how dangerous biohazards can be in a hoarded home:

  • Erica

    I finally saw this episode yesterday. I don’t have the correct language to word this all that clearly, but Shanna left me honestly flummoxed. I’m of course not a doctor, and I know this is none of my business, but what mental illness is this woman actually suffering from? Because she struck me as having a weird or unusual form of narcissism.

    Honestly, I don’t for a minute believe that she didn’t know that feces has a foul odor. That’s a socially learned idea, and her siblings weren’t exactly feral. It’s not like she grew up defecating in a bucket from childhood. She struck me as having an almost sociopathic view of other people’s experiences. The feces didn’t smell bad to HER (anymore), so how could it smell bad to other people? I think admitting that would have made her feel shame and humiliation, and she refused to allow those emotions to be elicited. I’m no psychiatrist, but I don’t think there’s a mental illness that forces someone to refute the existence of bacteria. She wasn’t hoarding waste because of sentimentality and she didn’t place value on it.

  • MJI

    I just watched this episode. Words cannot describe how grossed out/concerned I am for Shanna and her situation.

    What surprised me though is Lynda. I had one of those “It’s a Small World” moments. I either met someone who looks exactly like her or I met the real Lynda in a high rise complex in MN a couple years back.

    I remember her mentioning something about CO and being excited when i mentioned living in the state when I was really young. She mentioned nothing of Hoarders, but said she was getting a house cleaned or fixed up. I don’t remember her talking anything of the Rapture, but she had the same personality and talked about the same kind of subject.
    She was friendly and could hold a conversation for hours. Though at the time she seemed mad at her cat for biting her. She was thinking of parting with the cat. I was open to taking it, or finding a foster group. She wasn’t interested and declined my offer. I presume and hope she got past her anger and kept the cat. It was a very friendly one.

    Her apartment was okay. Somewhat cluttered but not seriously. Then again the living environment isn’t ideal for hoarders. There are annual inspections with management, and frequent other inspections throughout the year dealing with fire, alarm, safety and pest management. To be honest, just about every hoarder needs such housing.

    I hadn’t seen her in a while. Makes sense though if she moved back to CO with her family in her house. I kind of wish I kept in touch with her.

  • I believe in the Rapture myself…I look at it this way: If you plan on being here during the Tribulation, you’d better get yourself a bunker and plenty of food.

    • cheerfulmind

      You sound absolutely crazy. I can say that because I believe the same! But I have no plans on being left behind ;-)

  • cheerfulmind

    When did Hoarders branch out? Outside of Shanna kerping the “dirty water” jugs, she’s not a classic, compulsive hoarder. I recognize hoarding as a mental issue with diverse causes resulting in the act of extreme collecting & accumulation serving purposes like perceived safety, etc. We’ve seen collections of clothes, clowns and cats but except for the filth that occurs from the inability to clean with that much stuff, it wasn’t relatively empty rooms covered in, well, shit. Why is there shit without stuff now?! Don’t get me wrong, I like seeing people get access to needed help.

    And I guess Shanna reacted to throwing away molded, feces-covered food like a typical hoarder…she was definitely agitated and somehow believed she even experienced some joy in having the food. Poor Shanns just seems, more than anything else, a person mentally unfit to care for herself. I’ve never seen anyone regardless of the state of their home, not fundamentally understand why humans shouldn’t live like that. She needed a group home not a clean up crew. I just really do hope she’s okay now and living with some assistance!

  • Samantha Gur

    Copeophilia is listed in the DSM as a mental illness…