Hoarders need understanding and help in getting over the hoarding behaviour, apart from them, hoarding also affect their family members and even friends. It is therefore important for everyone to learn about hoarding so that they can be involved in hoarding help.
Hoarding is a condition in which an individual acquires and stores items that may not be necessarily worthy or helpful. To most hoarders, some of these items have sentimental value or may be useful at a future date. Therefore, instead of throwing them away, they keep them. Over time, these items will accumulate, and with them a wide number of problems.
One of the most common problems brought about by hoarding is lack of space. When the items accumulate, they will take up all the living space and this can cause other problems like fights with family and health risks. The hoarders will also have problems at work and in their social life. Their behaviour makes them highly sensitive, so they end up isolating themselves. Hoarding also creates a fire risk. In case there is a fire, it will be difficult for the helpers to access different areas of the home because of the number of items cluttering the space.
The hoarders also suffer from anxiety when it comes to throwing away these items. The anxiety makes it difficult for the family members to deal with them, and usually results into the family forcing the hoarder to change their ways. However, this is not a recommended hoarding help. When this is done, things would only be worse. The hoarder will become more anxious and will restart the acquisition of more items, making things worse.
The best hoarding help is to involve the hoarders in the process. There are quite a number of therapists who use the cognitive behavioural therapy to help hoarders. This therapy helps with a variety of issues ranging from the acquisition of items, the arrangement and organization, as well as the process of discarding these items.
The hoarders can also be encouraged to join group therapy because it helps them reach out to other people about their problems. Most hoarders are very embarrassed by their behaviour, forcing them to isolate themselves. At other instances, they would never welcome anyone to their abodes. In a group with other hoarders, they will be able to share their experiences and get to understand the impact of their behaviour.
Aside from the hoarders, family and friends may need hoarding help. It is important for them to know the appropriate measures they can use in order to help their loved one. One of the important things is to understand the hoarders, who are usually very protective about their items. When working with them, they should be patient as the process is slow, and there is no need to rush them. Family and friends can reward or praise the hoarder when he/she makes a step in discarding an item. This will provide them with the incentive needed to speed up their process out of their own volition.