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A Deeper Insight of Hoarder Definition

Compulsive hoarding in a private apartment
Compulsive hoarding in a private apartment

Compulsive hoarding in a private apartment (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When it comes to the term hoarder definition, different people will have different versions of what it means. Ideally however this is a person who collects numerous items and keeps them without getting rid of them. Most of the time, the hoarder does not need these things and they also do not have space to store them thus end up creating heaps and heaps of clutter both at home and in the office. This can be very dangerous for them because it may end up ruining their social as well as professional lives because they are not left with any space for anything else other than hoarding.

It is therefore safe to say that hoarder definition is not only about collecting very many things but it is also a specific type of behavior that can impact a person’s life in a very huge way. Pathological or compulsive hoarding is a problem that has the following characteristics.

  • Acquiring and not throwing away huge numbers of items that normally have little or no value at all to the owner and other people around them. These can include things like containers, magazines, books, clothes, lists, notes, receipts and junk mail among many others
  • Hoarder definition is also characterized by severe cluttering in the home of a person so that they cannot live or function normally since there is no space at all.
  • Impairment of work or severe distress on social life.

Hoarding affects very may people and it is a sad fact that most people do not realize that they have a problem when hoarding. A certain percentage of people with OCD normally report this as one of the most common symptom although you can suffer from the compulsive hoarding disorder without necessarily having obsessive compulsive disorder.

When dealing with hoarder definition, some experts claim that the hoarder may also be affected by neuropsychiatric disorders like tic disorders or impulse control disorders. Hoarding usually starts in the childhood stages but normally goes unnoticed until the victim becomes an adult. Hoarding can be genetic as most of the people who get into hoarding usually have relatives who have engaged in the same. A hoarder will spend a lot of money collecting the items or pursuing free giveaways. There are some people who will resort to stealing to satisfy their hoarding desire. Hoarders will be found at yard/garage sales and other areas where they can collect the items they are interested in.

You cannot talk about hoarder definition without mentioning that they love to buy things online. This is because it is a convenient medium where they can shop discreetly without getting embarrassed about their behavior. It is not uncommon for the hoarders to have funny beliefs about the things in their possession. They usually believe that the items they have are highly valuable and they could come handy in the coming months/years. There are some hoarders who think of their items as friends thus feel bad if they get rid of them. Most hoarders are also very secretive about their activities.

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Hoarding Treatment Methods for Compulsive Hoarders

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


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

English: Photo of the living room of a compulsive hoarder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Compulsive hoarding is a serious condition than what most people think. You might have a grandmother or neighbor who is known to collect the strangest and weirdest objects, which have no significant monetary value. Hoarding should not be mistaken for taking up too much closet space with several pairs of shoes leaving  your spouse with little or no closet space; hoarders often find themselves in a rut after piling up too many items in their homes making it difficult to freely move around the space. There are hoarding treatment methods available for compulsive hoarders, but it is important to understand what cause the condition in order to effectively treat it.

What causes hoarding

Hoarding has been linked to emotional and psychological problems going back to the victim’s early childhood years. However, it cannot be said that hoarding is a condition which only affects those who were neglected as children; hoarding has also been proven to be an inherited habit. Children of hoarders pick up the unhealthy habit from their parents and they are likely to go on and become hoarders as adults. OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) sufferers are also known to suffer from hoarding, but this does not mean that all hoarders suffer from OCD. The one thing that is clear is that hoarding affects the emotions, behavior and thoughts of the victim.

The symptoms of hoarding

Hoarders often reflect certain characteristics which point out to their affliction. The obvious sign is keeping a lot of items which cannot be contained within the available space whether in the house or at the office. These items sadly don’t have any significant or monetary value to the hoarder and end up over running their lives. Hoarders act according to their emotions and when any unfavorable changes occur in their lives they are compelled to add on to the items which clutter their lives. In this sense, hoarders develop an emotional attachment to the items they collect and cannot imagine losing them. In their minds, losing the items they hoard is like losing a part of themselves. That is why it is difficult to get hoarders to get rid of their clutter, because most develop an attachment to the items they hoard akin to the attachment a mother has to her child.

Hoarding treatment methods

Hoarding treatment is a gradual process which takes time, effort and patience. Just like with any other form of addiction, the first step to treating a hording disorder is to acknowledge that there is a problem. Due to the attachment hoarders have to their clutter, getting them to acknowledge that they have a problem could be the most difficult part of the hording treatment process. However, this can be done through the help of close family members particularly children who are known to reach out to their parents and point out such problems. In the case of severe hoarding or hording linked with OCD, the help of a professional goes a long way to help such individuals deal with their problems. Sometimes it takes a combination of prescribed drugs and therapy sessions to help a hoarder kick the unhealthy habit. HoaIn


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