What Hoarding Statistics Reveal About Compulsive Hoarders

What Is Hoarding?

Hoarding is defined as the amassing or stocking of things which can lead to a serious problem if not controlled.  Hoarding statistics show that the behavior is normal and acceptable in society.  However, it can become a serious problem if an individual turns into a compulsive hoarder.  Compulsive hoarding is a serious psychological disorder.  Due to the constant hoarding, compulsive hoarders often encounter problems in family relationships and disrupt the lives of their friends including the entire community in general.

 Excessive Buying

Hoarding statistics and data also indicate that compulsive hoarding is the excessive acquisition of any object or thing.  Compulsive hoarders also have difficulty in letting go of possessions.  This often leads to the accumulation of clutter especially in the individual’s home.  Compulsive hoarders have trouble discarding things even if they are no longer being used.  They may feel emotionally attached to objects and experience anxiety at the thought of throwing those things away.

According to hoarding statistics, 75% of hoarders have been found to engage in excessive buying behavior.  An individual’s income is not a factor when it comes to compulsive hoarding.  A compulsive hoarder who is financially challenged may even encounter more money problems due to excessive buying.

 Excessive Acquisition

Hoarding statistics also show that 50% of compulsive hoarders are also excessively acquiring free items.  Since the items are given away for free, hoarders may be thinking about the money that they would save when they acquire those things.  Only 15% of compulsive hoarders are aware that their behavior is becoming irrational.  Most compulsive hoarders are in denial especially when family members and friends confront them with the situation.

Compulsive hoarders have accumulated so much clutter in their homes that 45% of them have trouble getting to the fridge due to excessive clutter.  Hoarding statistics also show that 42% of compulsive have difficulty accessing the sink and the bathtub.  When excessive clutter has blocked the essential areas of the home, this poses numerous problems for the other occupants of the house.  For health and safety reasons, family members and friends should encourage their loved ones to get rid of the clutter.

Importance of Hoarding Statistics

Hoarding statistics provide useful information regarding the behavior and characteristics of hoarders.  The information presented by hoarding statistics is based from reliable web resources and data according to research studies.  Hoarding statistics are useful for health professionals for the treatment of patients suffering from compulsive hoarding and other obsessive-compulsive disorders.  Family members and friends will also gain insight when they read about hoarding statistics.  They will also be aware of what needs to be done in order to treat their loved one.

Compulsive hoarding is a serious problem that should not be ignored.  Since compulsive hoarders may not be aware of their actions or refuse to acknowledge that there is a problem, it is up to friends and family to seek help for them.  Treatment for compulsive hoarding may be done with the help of a psychiatrist or therapist and medication to control the hoarding impulse.

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How to Get Help with Hoarding

English: Photo of the living room of a compuls...
English: Photo of the living room of a compuls...

Image via Wikipedia

Compulsive hoarding or buying is a type of obsessive compulsive disorder.  Like other types of compulsive behaviors, hoarding is an impulsive behavior that can affect individuals who do not know how to control their spending patterns.  Compulsive hoarders are people who are excessively buying things they don’t really need.  Hoarding becomes a behavioral problem when there is excessive clutter in one’s house or living space due to the accumulation of items.  Cluttered space may cause problems such as health and safety issues.

Compulsive hoarding may be caused by many factors.  Some people are reluctant to throw away or give up the things they have even if they are rarely used.  This behavior leads to slow build-up of clutter.  Hoarders may feel emotionally attached to objects they already have in their home.  They experience anxiety and stress when they think about giving away those things which they think have sentimental value.  The only way to stop the anxiety is to simply keep the things they want.

 Treatment and Therapy

Getting help with hoarding can be done by consulting a professional therapist.  Hoarding treatment for may be a combination of exposure therapy, psychotherapy and medication.  In psychotherapy and exposure therapy, compulsive hoarders will work with therapists to control the compulsive behavior of hoarding.

Practicing new ways to react to the compulsion will help with hoarding problems.  When individuals feel negative feelings towards throwing things away or selling them, they are taught how to channel their thoughts into something positive.  Exposure therapy often begins in one’s home.  Compulsive hoarders will be exposed to the situation of reducing clutter and organization.  The key in exposure therapy is to feel anxiety without giving in to saving or keeping things.  Patients must learn how to overcome these feelings to help with hoarding compulsions.  Learning to let go of unused and unwanted items is a primary goal of therapy.

Another way to get help with hoarding is to practice systematic organizing and filing.  Compulsive hoarders are taught how to organize things and de-clutter their homes.  The things that they don’t need should be thrown away, donated or sold at garage sales.  It’s important to arrange and organize the things one has on a regular basis to keep unused items from piling up.

Organizing can be done to help with hoarding problems by putting things in a designated area such as plastic boxes or containers.  File only important documents and papers in folders with proper headings.  Hoarders are also advised to buy only things that they really need.  There is no reason to hoard on things that one can buy again at some other time.  This may be difficult to do at first but once the mind is conditioned to focus on the functionality of things, spending will not become a problem in the long run.

Getting help with hoarding should be done right away to avoid further complications and financial problems.  It is important for family members and friends to support the compulsive hoarder in getting help with hoarding.



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English: compulsive hoarding effects

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English: Compulsive hoarding home yard

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Compulsive hoarding in a private apartment

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