Wednesday, March 31, 2021
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The team enters when the gathering has become a disease

It is usually estimated that between two and four percent of the population suffers from collector’s syndrome or hoarding disorder.

– It can take different forms, but the distinguishing feature is the difficult emotional challenge it entails to get rid of things, says Jenny Linnarsson, head of the Collector Team.

Win the collector’s trust

She has met many Malmö residents whose unbridled collection of objects, in the eyes of others often experienced as rubbish, made them impossible with landlords – or led to angry remarks from, for example, the rescue service when attics and basements were flooded with gadgets.

– In the past, the “problem” with forced decontamination was often solved, they simply seized the things and threw them away. But research shows that it can have the exact opposite effect, the behavior escalates when the collector tries to compensate for everything that has been wasted, says Jenny Linnarsson.

The collector team instead works with personal meetings, often for a long time, to win the collector’s trust and help him or her find strategies to clean up their cluttered home and prevent it from growing again.

Hard to reach out

The activities fall under the City of Malmö’s functional support administration and you apply for the team’s support. The goal is to get more people to voluntarily ask for help – according to Jenny Linnarsson, a difficult challenge given the shame and social stigma that often surrounds the collector syndrome.

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– It is a difficult group to reach. The number of unreported cases is high because they are reluctant to talk about their difficulties – and in their social environment, many are often completely unaware of what is going on, says Jenny Linnarsson.

Malmö’s collector team was started in 2013. In addition to a similar business in Stockholm, built with Malmö as a model, the team is unique in its kind in the country.

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