Hoarding Disorder

Arbeitszimmer einer Messies
Arbeitszimmer einer Messies

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The definition of hoarding disorder is characterized into two parts. First of which is the excessive collection of things that have little or no value. The second is the difficulty or inability to discard the acquired things.

People diagnosed with hoarding disorder may gather pretty and useful items like picture frames and figurines, to useless and dirty things like empty cans, old receipts, paper napkins and garbage. Some even hoard animals. A hoarder may keep a lot of animals in their homes, most of which cannot be properly taken care of.

These acquired items that increase in number stack and clutter inside the house making passage through different parts of the house difficult. Because of this, routine daily activities such as sleeping, eating, cooking and taking a bath are interfered as well.

Hoarders won’t freely give up their possessions. Getting rid of them are very difficult on their part because in time, they have developed an attachment to these things. Even if a cleaning crew comes in and clears the clutter, the hoarder will just start accumulating things again without professional help.

Hoarding disorder is a serious condition that requires medical attention. Without medical help, the condition will just worsen. There will be threats to safety as well as health. Hoarding disorder can occur at any age and gender. The onset of this disorder is said to be during the teenage years. However it only becomes noticeable in adulthood.

Hoarding disorder is found to be more common in males than in females. Compulsive hoarders stay single because they are socially withdrawn. They prefer to be isolated from friends and even family members. Most people diagnosed with hoarding disorder can identify other family members suffering from the same problem. Therefore, hoarding disorder is genetic.

There are a lot of identified caused for hoarding. These include a problem in processing information, beliefs and practices about acquired items and emotional anxiety associated with the discarding of these items. To a compulsive hoarder, every item they come into is of great value. They hang on to these possessions because they believe they will come in handy in the future.

Signs and symptoms of hoarding disorder include the following: irrational attachment to possessions, cluttered living spaces, difficulty getting rid of items, moving collected things from one pile to another without getting rid of them, collecting of invaluable items, organizing and categorizing difficulties, poor decision making skills, poor socialization skills and difficulty managing daily activities.

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The Problem with Hoarding Disorder

Hoarding disorder, or disposophobia, may be considered a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Hoarding disorder, also known as pathological collecting, is an illness wherein a person saves a large number of items of no value without thinking of ever discarding them. The homes of people with hoarding disorder are usually chaotic and filled to the brim with clutter.

Hoarding disorder may be a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder and lot of other diseases. This however is found in most people with obsessive-compulsive disorder. What is hoarding? Hoarding is an irresistible impulse to acquire items through compulsive shopping, collecting and obtaining free items. A hoarding disorder may come from poor decision making over what items to keep or discard.

The hoarder simply cannot decide and prefer not to decide so everything is kept. They also have difficulty in organization and categorization so all things are scattered and cluttered. Because of this the hoarder becomes distressed and confused affecting his or her way of functioning. A hoarder also has limited or no social connections. This is probably because of a fear of embarrassment of the state of living of the hoarder.

Hoarding according to research is more common in males than in females. The onset is at an earlier age but become more noticeable once they are adults. Abnormal grooming behaviors may be noted among hoarders. These include nail biting, skin picking and trichotillomania or compulsive-hair pulling.

One difficult part in diagnosing a hoarding disorder is that hoarders often do not see anything wrong with what they are doing. What they are doing for them is but natural. Medical professionals become involved only mostly because of concerned family members, neighbors or friends.

Hoarders have very little or no idea that their condition could eventually worsen and pose health and safety risks to their selves, to those who live with them and even their neighbors. Oblivious to their surroundings and to what others may say about them, they think their actions are acceptable and sensible.

There are various treatments for hoarding disorder. These treatments include cognitive-behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy entails the therapist to come to the hoarder’s house and observe the severity of the situation.

Through this, the therapist would be able to help with decision making skills and organization. Medications for this disorder include antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.  However, patients with hoarding disorder seem to be less responsive with these types of treatments. Hoarders tend to become more anxious, depressed and socially impaired.

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Hoarding – When to Seek Medical Help

Hoarding is collecting items in excess and the inability to discard them. In order for it to become a disorder, the person hoarding should be extremely affected. There should be a marked decrease in the quality of life of the hoarder. This might involve interference in the routine activities such as bathing, eating, cooking and […]

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The Difference Between a Hoarder and a Collector

A hoarder is a person who acquires and collects items in excess and has difficulty is discarding or doing away with them. A hoarder develops strong attachments to the items they usually collect although worthless, invaluable, unsanitary and hazardous. Compulsive hoarding becomes a hindrance to a person’s activities of daily living such as cooking, sleeping, […]

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Compulsive Hoarding

Compulsive hoarding is a disorder seen in a lot of people, especially ones with OCD or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Compulsive hoarding may also be known as pathological hoarding or disposophobia. Compulsive hoarding is defined as the excessive accumulation of items that have little or no value and having the difficulty in getting rid of them. These […]

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The Dangers of Compulsive Hoarding

Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding And The Meaning of ...

Compulsive hoarding is a disorder also known as disposophobia or pathological hoarding. Compulsive hoarding is the excessive acquisition of items and the difficulty or inability to discard them. These items are often worthless, unsanitary, considered clutter and anything and everything of little or no value. Compulsive hoarding may be hazardous for anybody who comes and […]

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The Real Definition of a Hoarder

Hoarders

A hoarder gives the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” a whole new meaning. A compulsive hoarder is someone having difficulty getting rid of items such that these things are filling up their living space. Usual routine activities such as cooking or sleeping become a problem because the space designed for these purposes […]

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Hoarding Treatment

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Hoarding is the excessive accumulation of items and having difficulties discarding them. These items may be very valuable to the hoarder but considered trash by most people. Because of the volume of items kept, cramped living conditions are the usual result. Living spaces cannot be used for their intended purpose anymore because of the clutter. […]

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Hoarding

Compulsive hoarding is a disorder characterized by excessive acquiring but unable to throw out a number of items that are useless and invaluable to others such as old newspapers, junk mail, receipts, old broken tools and others. A hoarder’s home becomes full of clutter so much so that the living space cannot serve its purpose […]

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Characteristics of a Shopaholic

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A shopaholic is a person who is addicted to shopping. This is a person who can live their entire lives in the malls or in online stores looking for things that they probably don’t even need. They end up spending a lot of money which is quite unhealthy. Below are some of the characteristics of […]

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