'My Life is a Mess'
Dr. Phil talks to a woman who can't seem to get her messy house organized.
"On the outside, our home looks normal. On the inside, it's just a crazy mess," says Kim. "My family is at a point of crisis and we need some major help."

Her husband, John, says, "When I walk in the door, I can't help but just be overcome with a wave of depression." Some of the biggest fights he has with Kim are over her disorganization. "It's total, utter chaos and I just can't function in it," he complains.

As a stay-at-home mom of two children, Kim says her hectic schedule contributes to the messiness. "Every morning, our house is just totally chaos. I can't find shoes, clothes, schoolwork. It doesn't start our day off well," she admits. "My kids see clutter and disorganization as a way of life."

Six months ago, her son was diagnosed with ADD, and she blames herself for his disorder. "I feel very guilty because he's always lived in constant chaos, and I know that children with that kind of mind need structure and he's never had that," she reveals.

Turning to Dr. Phil for help, she says, "My house is a disaster and it has to change. Can you please help me?"
"Why do you think you do it?" Dr. Phil asks Kim.

In tears, she replies, "I just cannot focus on one thing at a time. I start one thing and I continue to something else, and I don't ever complete the first task."

"There's got to be a payoff for it, a reason for it, some purpose it's serving," Dr. Phil prompts. "What is it?"

"I think I might have adult ADD," Kim admits.

Dr. Phil challenges her viewpoint, observing that Kim does have the ability to focus, for example when she scrambles to clean for company. "If you were ADD, you couldn't do that," he explains.

Addressing John, Dr. Phil asks, "What do you think it is?"

"It seems like when something more interesting comes up somewhere else, it's a way to get out of doing it," John replies.Turning to Kim, Dr. Phil asks, "You want to know why I think you do it? It's very paradoxical. It looks like you are totally out of control. And I think what you're doing is totally about trying to control everything."

"I agree with that," she replies.

Pointing out that Kim never throws anything away, Dr. Phil says, "It's kind of organized chaos ... If it was all cleaned up and all you had to do is sit down on the couch and look around, then what would you do? It's like, 'I'm not needed. I'm not vital, I'm not enmeshed in all of this.'"

Kim agrees. "I won't allow anybody to help me," she tells Dr. Phil.

"Of course not! They can't touch your stuff. You're in control of this stuff."
"This is a control issue with you," Dr. Phil continues. "The vast majority of our choices in life are motivated by fear ... You sometimes marry the people you marry out of fear ... I think you have a terrible fear that if your world was ever controlled, you just wouldn't feel vital. You wouldn't feel like you were in control, and you've got to make a conscious choice to give that up." Kim also needs to make herself accountable by saying, "If I don't get a room cleaned up today, I don't get to wear makeup tomorrow. I don't get to take a shower tomorrow."

Dr. Phil has a surprise for the couple. "One of the experts at The Container Store is going to come to your house with you and go through everything and teach you how to get completely organized," he tells them. Additionally, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? will come to their house and remove unwanted items. "They're not just going to throw it away, they're going to donate everything they can to charity and recycling," Dr. Phil says. To Kim, he says, "You've got to decide, 'I've got to stop measuring my self-worth as a function of all I control in this pile of rubble I call home.' Will you take the help?"

"I will definitely take the help," she says tearfully.