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#289 Diogenes Syndrome

#289 Diogenes Syndrome

by Georgiana | SpeakEnglishPodcast.com


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Hi! I’m Georgiana, and I’m back with a new episode. I’m here to help you speak English fluently. And what do you need to speak fluently? You need to LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN, and LISTEN. 🙂

If you want to help me, SHARE the podcast with your friends and family. That would mean a lot. Thanks.

On my website you can get the 5 Secrets to speak English and also my premium courses.

Before we start, get the transcript at SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast

It’s completely free!

Ok, let’s start!

Today, I want to talk about something called Diogenes syndrome. It might not be something you’re familiar with, but it’s a big deal in society. This syndrome is about people accumulating too much stuff in their homes.

My friend shared a story with me last week about her dear 80-year-old neighbor who recently passed away. Her children came to clear out the house so they could sell it. It turns out that the poor woman had collected a lot of stuff over the years—furniture, boxes, and more. It seems like she had a habit of collecting things.

You might have seen cases like this in the news, or maybe you know someone who just can’t seem to throw things away. It’s like they have a habit of hoarding stuff. Many people can relate to this—I sometimes have to remind myself to get rid of things I don’t need anymore because they start piling up at home.

But what I’m talking about here is more extreme. It’s a condition where people hoard so much stuff that their homes become overwhelmed with clutter. Ironically, it’s named after Diogenes of Sinope, an ancient Greek philosopher who believed in living with very little. People with this syndrome, however, collect things indiscriminately, thinking they might need them one day.

While it’s not officially classified as a mental illness, it often goes hand in hand with other mental health issues, and it tends to affect older people more. Some experts think it might stem from difficult experiences in the past, like living through a war, where holding onto things was a matter of survival.

In the US, when someone has Diogenes syndrome, people try to help them in different ways. Here’s what they do:

Doctors or nurses might visit their homes to see if they are physically and mentally okay.

Mental health experts can talk to them and try to help them feel better.

Support from Social Workers: These are people who help others with their problems. They can arrange for someone to clean their house, talk to them about keeping it tidy, and connect them with other helpful services like food or counseling.

Keeping in Touch: It’s essential to check on them to ensure they get the help they need.

Sometimes, the Law Gets Involved: If the person is in danger or putting others in danger, some legal steps might need to be taken to make sure they get the proper care.

The goal is always to make sure the person is safe and healthy. It’s also essential for more people to learn about Diogenes syndrome so that those who need help can get it sooner.

Sometimes, people don’t want help, and professionals must respect their choice to live as they please. Research shows that the causes of Diogenes syndrome are complicated—it could be genetic, psychological, or tied to traumatic events.

As society ages, we might see more of this syndrome cropping up. It’s something policymakers need to think about and take action on.

Is it the same where you live? If you have any insights, feel free to share.

Let’s continue with a surprising point-of-view story:

POV-Story (Learn grammar in context)


I will tell you the same story twice. So, make sure to focus on the changes.

You can find these techniques fully implemented in my premium courses.SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/courses

Okay! Let’s start!

Mr. Jack was an older man who lived in a massive house in a village. In his house, he accumulated a lot of objects that were everywhere.

The neighbors thought that Mr. Jack suffered from Diogenes syndrome.

One day, Mr. Jack bought a lot of food and locked himself in his house for a month without going out.

During that time, strange noises were heard in the house. The neighbors became increasingly worried. Suddenly, the noises stopped.

The police decided to investigate. They expected the worst. To their surprise, they knocked on the door. And Mr. Jack opened it, and they saw that everything was tidy. His house looked like a museum!

It turned out that Mr. Jack had been a historian. For years, he had accumulated all kinds of historical objects that told the story of that town.

The museum was inaugurated, attracting many curious tourists. The town became a real tourist spot, and the locals were delighted.

Let’s listen to the story in the present tense.

Mr. Jack is an older man who lives in a massive house in a village. In his house, he accumulates a lot of objects that are everywhere.

The neighbors think that Mr. Jack suffers from Diogenes syndrome.

One day, Mr. Jack buys a lot of food and locks himself in his house for a month without going out.

During this time, strange noises are heard in the house. The neighbors become increasingly concerned. Suddenly, the noises stop.

The police decide to investigate. They expect the worst. To their surprise, they knock on the door, and Mr. Jack opens it, and they see that everything is tidy. His house looks like a museum!

It turns out that Mr. Jack was a historian. Over the years, he has accumulated all kinds of historical objects that tell the story of that town.

The museum is inaugurated, attracting many curious tourists. The village becomes a natural tourist spot, and the locals are delighted.

Great! I like these kinds of stories because they’re easy to remember and help a lot with learning English. Humor also makes learning more enjoyable. You can find this method in my premium courses—take a look at: SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/courses, to get my premium courses. They are designed for learning by listening.

Also, if you want to help me, share the podcast with your friends and family. That would mean a lot. Thanks.


With Georgiana’s method  I have started speaking English from minute one and this is exactly what I needed. With the traditional method you will practice grammar, grammar and grammar, but with Georgiana’s method you will practice listening and speaking and in my opinion this is the most important thing when you are learning a new language. Ricardo

“Thanks to Georgiana, I have lost my fear of speaking English. I have eliminated my frustration and started to enjoy this language.” Miriam

“I did not study English when I was a child. I contacted Georgiana at a time when I felt blocked. She has helped me to lose my fear of speaking English.” Ana