Archive | December, 2010


20 Dec

the scenario

i always do this in class. give a word to my students and ask them to guess what it means where their answers are opened for discussion and justification. later, my students would come up with various illogical nor fascinating ideas of what the words mean especially if the words given were rather alien to them šŸ˜›

the word above is alien indeed. it’s a scientific term to represent a disease quite unknown in malaysia or probably gone unnoticed. thus, it’s not common for us here to face such disaster and state. why dont i relate it to a picture where it might give us the hint about the meaning of the word.

the answer

yes, it is a term use to define compulsive hoarding in science. in wikipedia,it is stated that Compulsive hoarding (or pathological hoarding or disposophobia) is the excessive acquisition of possessions (and failure to use or discard them), even if the items are worthless, hazardous, or unsanitary. Compulsive hoarding impairs mobility and interferes with basic activities, including cooking, cleaning, showering, and sleeping. A person who engages in compulsive hoarding is commonly said to be a “pack rat“, in reference to that animal’s characteristic hoarding.

It is not clear whether compulsive hoarding is an isolated disorder, or rather a symptom of another condition, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder.

the Characteristics

While there is no clear definition of compulsive hoarding in accepted diagnostic criteria (such as the current DSM), Frost and Hartl (1996) provide the following defining features:[3]

  • The acquisition of and failure to discard a large number of possessions that appear to be useless or of limited value
  • Living spaces sufficiently cluttered so as to preclude activities for which those spaces were designed
  • Significant distress or impairment in functioning caused by the hoarding
  • Reluctance or inability to return borrowed items; as boundaries blur, impulsive acquisitiveness could sometimes lead to kleptomania or stealing

According to Sanjaya Saxena, MD, director of the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders Program at the University of California, San Diego, compulsive hoarding in its worst forms can cause fires, unclean conditions (e.g. rat and roach infestations),[4] injuries from tripping on clutter and other health and safety hazards.[5] The hoarder may mistakenly believe that the hoarded items are very valuable, or the hoarder may know that the accumulated items are useless, or may attach a strong personal value to items which they recognize would have little or no value to others. A hoarder of the first kind may show off a cutlery set claiming it to be made of silver and mother-of-pearl, disregarding the fact that the packaging clearly states the cutlery is made of steel and plastic. A hoarder of the second type may have a refrigerator filled with uneaten food items months past their expiration dates, but in some cases would vehemently resist any attempts from relatives to dispose of the unusable food. In other cases the hoarder will recognize the need to clean the refrigerator, but due (in part) to feelings that doing so would be an exercise in futility, and overwhelmed by the similar condition of the rest of their living space, fails to do so.

the Levels of hoarding

Although not commonly used by clinical psychologists, criteria for five levels of hoarding have been set forth by the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD) entitled the NSGCD Clutter Hoarding Scale.[6] Using the perspective of a professional organizer, this scale distinguishes five levels of hoarding with Level I being the least severe and Level V being the worst. Within each level there are four specific categories which define the severity of clutter and hoarding potential:

  • Structure and zoning
  • Pets and rodents
  • Household functions
  • Sanitation and cleanliness

Level I hoarder

Household is considered standard. No special knowledge in working with the Chronically Disorganized is necessary. Level 1 hoarding can be seen as someone overlooking a pile of newspapers or pizza boxes gathering in the corner.

Level II hoarder

Household requires professional organizers or related professionals to have additional knowledge and understanding of Chronic Disorganization.

Level III hoarder

Household may require services in addition to those a professional organizer and related professional can provide. Professional organizers and related professionals working with Level III households should have significant training in Chronic Disorganization and have developed a helpful community network of resources, especially mental health providers.

Level IV hoarder

Household needs the help of a professional organizer and a coordinated team of service providers. Psychological, medical issues or financial hardships are generally involved. Resources will be necessary to bring a household to a functional level. These services may include pest control services, “crime scene cleaners”, financial counseling and licensed contractors and handy persons.

Level V hoarder

Professional organizers should not venture directly into working solo with this type of household. The Level V household may be under the care of a conservator or be an inherited estate of a mentally ill individual. Assistance is needed through the use of a multi-task team. These members may include social services and psychological/mental health representative (not applicable if inherited estate), conservator/trustee, building and zoning, fire and safety, landlord, legal aid and/or legal representatives. A written strategy needs to be outlined and contractual agreements made before proceeding.

The following case study is taken from a published account of compulsive hoarding:[5]

A 79-year-old woman recently died in a fire at her Washington, D.C., row house when ‘pack rat conditions’ held back firefighters from reaching her in time. A couple of days later, 47 firefighters from 4 cities spent 2 hours fighting a fire in a Southern California home before they were able to bring it under control. There was floor-to-ceiling clutter that had made it almost impossible for them to come in the house.

the Subtypes and related conditions

Obsessiveā€“compulsive disorder

It is not clear whether compulsive hoarding is a condition in itself, or rather a symptom of other related conditions.[2] Several studies[specify] have reported a correlation between hoarding and the presence and / or severity of obsessiveā€“compulsive disorder (OCD). Compulsive hoarding does not seem to involve the same neurological mechanisms as more familiar forms of obsessiveā€“compulsive disorder and does not respond to the same drugs (which target serotonin).[2][8][9] Hoarding behavior is also related to obsessiveā€“compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). There may be an overlap with a condition known as impulse control disorder (ICD), particularly when compulsive hoarding is linked to compulsive buying or acquisition behavior. However, some people displaying compulsive hoarding behaviour show no other signs of what is usually considered to be OCD, OCPD or ICD. Those diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often have hoarding tendencies.[10]

Book hoarding

Bibliomania is an obsessiveā€“compulsive disorder involving the collecting or hoarding of books to the point where social relations or health are damaged. One of several psychological disorders associated with books, bibliomania is characterized by the collecting of books which have no use to the collector nor any great intrinsic value to a more conventional book collector. The purchase of multiple copies of the same book and edition and the accumulation of books beyond possible capacity of use or enjoyment are frequent symptoms of bibliomania.

This definition may also be applied to those who collect such things as vinyl records (vinylmania) or other forms of recorded music (cassettes, CDRs, MP3s) and/or published items such as VHS cassettes, DVDs, magazines, newspapers, fliers as well as souvenir items and articles of clothing (sneakers are amongst the most common) which due to their limited production runs are considered unique.

Animal hoarding

Animal hoarding involves keeping larger than usual numbers of animals as pets without having the ability to properly house or care for them, while at the same time denying this inability. Compulsive animal hoarding can be characterized as a symptom of obsessiveā€“compulsive disorder rather than deliberate cruelty towards animals. Hoarders are deeply attached to their pets and find it extremely difficult to let the pets go. They typically cannot comprehend that they are harming their pets by failing to provide them with proper care. Hoarders tend to believe that they provide the right amount of care for their pets. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals provides a “Hoarding Prevention Team”, which works with hoarders to help them attain a manageable and healthy number of pets.[11] Along with other compulsive hoarding behaviours, it is linked in the DSM-IV to obsessiveā€“compulsive disorder and obsessiveā€“compulsive personality disorder.[12] Alternatively, animal hoarding could be related to addiction, dementia, or even focal delusion.[13]

Animal hoarders display symptoms of delusional disorder in that they have a “belief system out of touch with reality”.[14] Virtually all hoarders lack insight into the extent of deterioration in their habitations and the health of their animals, refusing to acknowledge that anything is wrong.[15] Delusional disorder is an effective model in that it offers an explanation of hoarder’s apparent blindness to the realities of their situations. Another model that has been suggested to explain animal hoarding is attachment disorder, which is primarily caused by poor parent-child relationships during childhood.[16] As a result, those suffering from attachment disorder may turn to possessions, such as animals, to fill their need for a loving relationship. Interviews with animal hoarders have revealed that often hoarders experienced domestic trauma in childhood, providing evidence for this model.[16] Perhaps the strongest psychological model put forward to explain animal hoarding is obsessiveā€“compulsive disorder (OCD).

the Physiology and treatment

Brain imaging studies using positron emission tomography (PET) scans that detect the effectiveness of long-term treatment have shown that the cerebral glucose metabolism patterns seen in OCD hoarders were distinct from the patterns in non-hoarding OCD. The most notable difference in these patterns was the decreased activity of the dorsal anterior cingulated gyrus, a part of the brain that is responsible for focus, attention and decision making.[9] A 2004 University of Iowa study found that damage to the frontal lobes of the brain can lead to poor judgment and emotional disturbances, while damage to the right medial prefrontal cortex of the brain tends to cause compulsive hoarding.[17]

Obsessive compulsive disorders are treated with various antidepressants: from the Tricyclic antidepressant family clomipramine (brand name Anafranil); and from the SSRI families paroxetine (Paxil), fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), sertraline (Zoloft) and citalopram (Celexa). With existing drug therapy OCD symptoms can be controlled, but not cured. Several of these compounds (including paroxetine, which has an FDA indication[18]) have been tested successfully in conjunction with OCD hoarding. A 2006 study of this usage of the drug to treat compulsive hoarding was conducted by the University of California, San Diego. Compulsive hoarding is also treated with psychotherapy which allows patients to deal with their emotions and behaviors. This method is vital to the successful treatment of hoarding[citation needed]. Most symptoms of OCD, such as contamination fears, checking and morbid/ritualistic thinking, are effectively treated with “Exposure and Response Prevention” (ERP). ERP consists of two parts: Behavior Therapy (BT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)[citation needed].



14 Dec

being humongous can at times difficult in ways unthinkable. my ex has problems to sit comfortably in planes, cinemasĀ  and even restaurants where he eventually invent a method to excruciatingly makes himself comfy or finally avoid these options.

i, myself weigh at almost 80kg and that worries me all the time. i’m less confident if i’m surrounded by petite ladies as i’m quite tall too. therefore, i’ll be huge among them. i prefer big guys compared to skinny ones as i dont think i’m up to the challenge of being a good match in size when we walk side by side. all of my friends’ and families’ suggestions for eligible mate should go through the routine ‘size’ test first by me which makes it harder for them to help find my mr right

i like to cook and i love food. it’s the most satisfying and beautiful whenever a master at it’s field knows the whats and hows of creating mouth watering edibles. i collect cook books especially desserts and my new passion is cupcakes. being who i am, it’s rather hard for a change. the passion to cook equals to eat what you cook and this is making it harder for me to go on a diet (”-)

i like watching biggest losers and witness how they shed all the menacing kilos that form their unwanted figure. i’m not that fat but i’ll be super conscious of what i wear and who is around me. i constantly have this phobic desire to hide my tummy under my big handbag or anything i hold in my hands. i am AFRAID people could see how bloated and flabby it is.. my mom always says that it resembles a 4months pregnancy!!! ouch…

i equip myself with health magazines. i walk on the beach once in a while and control my food intake. i blame my metabolism and my age for making it worse. i hate my siblings for being so skinny and lean as i am the chubby one. i curse my gene as it chooses me and makes me bigger than the rest. i even asks God whenever i look at my reflection in the mirror and later i feel guilty and sinful. i then GIVE UP. surrender to the fact that i couldnt change it as much as i want to do so..

i watched biggest losers asia tonight just to know who will win the title, get the 100k and become as thin as possible. i like seeing them change tremendously and i agree thatĀ  figure and confidence work hand in hand to make people believe they worth a second look. it always affects my emotion to see people become thinner because they work hard for it and confidence will then slowly evoke in them and they’ll glow!

inter changing between the program, there’s an ad about the 14 days challenge by fitnesse. just eat it for bfast & 1 other meal for 14 days to see the change. my lil sis was excited and asked me to try out the challenge. as my third sis is going to get married next february, i accepted!

hence, it’s my honor to announce that missĀ  monster tummy, hereby is willing to use the opportunity to regain her confidence and starts a new BEGINNING ^^


10 Dec

school holiday means we are out of school. my youngest sister, my nephew, niece and me are ecstatic bout having the whole month for us to lazing around and have fun! hence, we’ve decided to travel to kuantan and stay at my sis’ for a week.. as i was parenting for 2 hyperkids, i started to realise the mounting pressure a mother face to cater for growing children. i never say it’s easy but i always believe it’s manageable!

after 3 outings to the mall, i am more ready with a mommy tool belt .

  1. jacket – going to the mall can sometimes too cold for the kids. with the unexpected changing weather nowadays, it’s better to be careful and bring little comfort from home for them. if you are planning to catch a movie, it’ll definitely help
  2. wet wipes – these little urchins would munch, spin or fall anywhere they go. keeping wet wipes could wash off all the mess in secs šŸ˜›
  3. red zone – toy shop is the main attraction or even the toy section anywhere in malls. snacks, tidbits, ice cream and choc are other sections to avoid especially if your payday is a month away.


there’s many important hassle free factors to consider when they are at home too

  1. keep them occupied – hyperactive kids wouldnt stay quiet after 5 minutes. it’ll be a torture to them to sit still so, it’s our job to prepare them with things to do. provide them with toys or workbook to do colourings. kids love to paint!
  2. play play play – kiddos should be given equal n suitable toys to play with. if there’s more than 1 kid around, the toys should be according to their likings and interests. dont give them boring toys or more than what they needed. more spells trouble as one or another would want more than the other.
  3. enough titbits – as they play, children like to munch and drink. there’s no harm giving them frequent snacks as long as it’s healthy and low in sugar. giving too much of those will make them more active (sugar high alert).
  4. diapers ready – whenever they fall asleep, the tendency to wet their bed is high especially if they are too tired. so, moms, just put on the magic absorbent as precaution ( you dont want your rm300 carpet to have yellow spot do you)
  5. med box – flu, fever or even tummy ache, moms should always carry the right remedy for them.Ā 

modernization and technology aid parents in managing their children with numerous gadgets and gizmos. i, however believe, a parent should be witty and organised in nurturing their children. although i was a surrogate mom for a week, yet, it was fulfilling and overwhelming


10 Dec

it is my birthday. the usual wishes and gifts are expected but not this one wonderful student of mine.. i taught her for 2 years and i’ve always like her for she is reserve but brilliant in writing. she would always came up with peculiar, eerie & sometimes mind boggling essays but i am a big fan of her šŸ™‚

my gift is no different. it’s unexpected but i melted when i received it. in my little heart, i realised i’ve affected this quiet girl as she has done so too.. i would not judge the gift for you so u have to see it for yourself šŸ™‚

please click here!


Assalamualaikum šŸ™‚ 

Reminisce what she told me once;
” I think you’re good at reflective writing.”
So here we go!

I still can remember our first meeting. It was during the Minggu Haluan Pelajar. She was the one who explained to us about the House System in Boarding School. I remembered the master of ceremony introduced her as ‘Cik’.

“Oh, still single,”most of the students would probably think so.

They say, first impression counts. So as usual, I made my own judgment.

“She’s strict, obviously. I like the way she talks. I think she’s okay.”

Time passed by and all Form Four students had to sit for a special test. It was the method that the teachers decided to choose in order to know in which set we are suppose to be. A few days after that, I looked at the notice board, seeing my name in that teacher’s set. Yes, I am going to be in that strict young teacher’s set. I prayed that nothing bad will happen to me.

To know you
Is to love you

The lyrics were telling the truth. Being in the teacher’s set made me realized and discovered who she really is. She is a superb teacher, the one you can share your problems with. Well, of course I did not dare to do so. She is a great teacher, the one who treat you like sisters and friends. Still, that does not mean that we can play hide and seek with her. The barriers are still there where you should respect her just like you did to the other teachers.

I can perfectly tell you how she knew I am a blogger. We were assigned to describe about someone that we think should be known. Since I was doing the task with Nabihah Ishak, we decided to write about each other. So Che Nab, that is how they call her, wrote about me. On the paper, she wrote down my blog URL. My blog link with no error. And perhaps, that was how the teacher knew about it.

Whenever she told the whole class about something regarding blog, I would look somewhere else. I would not be proud to know that one of my teachers knew that I am a blogger. In my opinion, I guess they might read my blog and someday, maybe they would discover about my bad records at school. Or perhaps about the real me, who was not a good student as they once thought. These probability made me feel insecure. Until the moment I am writing this.

In her class, sometimes we would play simple games. She would say any words that came across her mind and we have to wrote something about it. We would submit that paper to her and the next day, we are going to smile to see her comments. She would leave some comments about what we were trying to tell her and not to be mention, at least a smile =)

When writing essays, some of my friends would tell her indirectly about the latest gossips in school. Sadly, she would not let us read the essays. It might be a problem to some teachers to have students who would tell them about hot gossips in their homework, but not for this 32 years old lady.

She would motivate us whenever we lose hopes. She would punish us by asking us to wait outside Bilik Kuliah for five minutes if we are late for her class. She would stay in Bilik Guru Perempuan and ask someone to deliver her message about what we have to complete on that day when she was not in a good mood to teach us. She would laugh to hear our nonsense talk. She would tell us to have some walk around the school when we are too sleepy. She would tell us to go to the toilet and wash our faces. She would be the one who would assure us that everything is going to be okay. She is the one, the coolest teacher I have ever had.

Thank you teacher for everything. I am begging for your forgiveness if I have ever hurt your feelings all this while. I am sorry if I could not give you high marks for English but I would like to let you that I have done my best in SPM.

Happy 32th birthday to Teacher Yusnita:)
May Allah bless you always.
Wishing you would found your soul mate as soon as possible HEHE ,
have a great time with your love ones,
with a great health and of course, with the same warm smile on your face:)
Stay as you are.

# 143 teacher šŸ˜€