"I was shopping myself to death": Self-confessed "high-end hoarder" on the designer addiction that consumed her home

I was shopping myself to death': Self-confessed 'high-end hoarder' on the designer addiction that consumed her home
Spent $500,000 in ten years following a devastating divorce

|

UPDATED:

11:35 GMT, 29 August 2012

A woman who accumulated $500,000 worth of clothing in ten years has told how her shopping addiction ruined her life.

Monte from Oklahoma starting hitting the stores on a regular basis following a devastating divorce, and soon her 4,000-square-foot mansion became unnavigable, as purchases were crammed into every crevice.

On an average post-work trip she'd return home
with ten bags of clothing, many of which were bargains, but none were
necessities.'It was like a high,' she described.

Scroll down for video

Monte, who has a serious shopping addiction, is the latest star of TLC's Hoarding: Buried Alive

Monte, who has a serious shopping addiction, is the latest star of TLC's Hoarding: Buried Alive

She increasingly isolated herself and
refused to let people help. Her son Chase also kept friends away from
the junk strewn house, embarrassed about what they might think.

'Some people eat themselves to death, I was shopping myself to death,' she told Yahoo! Shine.

It was her best friend who finally decided to take action and sent Monte's story to the producers of TLC's Hoarding: Buried Alive, a show which explores the psychology behind
the compulsive collection of items.

Monte starts clearing out her home with the help of friends and her son Chase, far right

Monte starts clearing out her home with the help of friends and her son Chase, far right

When the application was accepted Monte was informed that she would be starring in an episode of the popular series.

'I was shocked but not totally surprised… I was actually kind of relieved,' she revealed.

As well as friends and her son Chase
on board to help ,Dr. Becky Beaton, a licensed psychologist and
consultant on the TLC show, also advised Monte on ways she could conquer
her addiction.

To start with her house was completely cleared out, with a third of purchases going to charity and the rest discarded in two
giant dumpsters.

'I would consider my self maybe a
high-end, upscale, couture type hoarder,' the fifty-something science
teacher proudly told viewers.

'When I walked out of the house I looked like a million bucks, nobody would assume I was living in utter chaos.'

Bad habits: Following a devastating divorce Monte increasingly found comfort in shopping

Bad habits: Following a devastating divorce Monte increasingly found comfort in shopping

There was around $20,000 worth of footwear scattered throughout Monte's home

There was around $20,000 worth of footwear scattered throughout Monte's home

Reports show that 5.8 per cent of the US
population, 80 per cent of them women, suffer from compulsive buying
disorder (CBD).

'This type of shopping addiction tends
to affect people who are unsure of themselves… or who have difficulty
valuing themselves and their own opinion,' April Lane Benson,
psychologist and author of To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Over-shop and
How to Stop, told Yahoo! Shine.

'Learning what they really need and finding a way to get that helps. It's often more love and affection, more self-esteem, a sense
of belonging.'

A US study published this month confirmed that victims of hoarding disorder have abnormal activity in regions of the brain involved in decision making – particularly in what to do with objects that belong to them.

They not only collect too many things, but also feel unable to throw them out even if they’re useless.

Monte added: 'I can't be mad at my friends for trying to help me… Your stuff can't hug you back,It can't throw its arms around you.'

‘Hoarding: Buried Alive, 8 pm Sunday, TLC, cable 56