This is something that’s been bugging me for a while now. I know a man in his 70s who is physically active, mentally sharp and intelligent. However, he lives in utter filth and collects very odd things in huge piles such as plastic shopping bags and milk containers. He thinks he will need these someday. He has not cleaned his apartment in 18 years. The ceiling is caving in, all the lights are dead, the appliances are black with soot/grease and are useless, there is ivy growing on the walls, the place is knee deep in trash. I can’t imagine how anyone can live like this. He seems embarassed about it but he attributes this to the fact that he’s just a “lazy slob” and can’t help it. He has poor hygiene and does the bare minimum to get by. He gets plenty of income from his pension and social security, yet he skimps on everything…only buys things of the lowest quality, never buys new clothes or furniture. He also has a big dirty dog and walks around town with him into restaurants, shops, other peoples houses, and is completely oblivious to other people’s objections to this.
I’ve tried to help him clean up and throw away the garbage on numerous occasions but he is beyond help. He is resistant to change and quickly falls back to his old habits.
I’m wondering if this degree of sloppiness and ignorance of social standards is truly just “laziness” or if it’s something like a psychological disorder. I’m only asking this to satisfy my own curiosity… maybe someone knowledgeable in psychology could shed more light on the subject. Thanks.