Hoarding involves the fear of disposing things away thinking that you still might actually need them someday or fearing that the things thrown away might cause a problem. And while a lot of people hang onto things for various reasons, some have demonstrated hoarding excessively that it causes more discomfort than relief to the person and the family. It is then that we need to realize that hoarding treatment might be required.
But before you act on providing help for hoarding, it would be best if you understand how people with this OCD see things in a different perspective.
People hoard for several reasons:
1. They believe that the thing has a sentimental value.
Now you’d likely suppose that stuffs are kept for a purpose, or perhaps because of the meaning and value they have. But for the individual that hoards, the worth and/or importance could lie in the utmost unanticipated things. The sentimental value of a thing is one of the benchmark and standard for keeping it. People with hoarding issues need to be helped as sentimental value also talks about how the item or thing has evolved to become a fragment of “them” and not simply just a regular autonomous object.
You may extend help for hoarding in this line of reasoning made by the individual by making him or her realize how the object is not entirely part of him/her and that detachment from that object will aid in letting that same object go.
2. They usually have difficulty when it comes down to decision making.
People with obsessive-compulsive issues such as hoarding often find themselves popping the question: “What if?” What if they would need the thing one day? What if letting the thing go only causes difficulty?
They generally find it tremendously tough to make certain decisions concerning the release or letting go of a particular thing which often times leads to the avoidance of having to make that decision. As a result, they end up keeping the things.
3. Organizing becomes another difficult thing for them to do.
Individuals with hoarding issues also have the struggle with realizing the manner of organizing objects and not being capable to perceive how they could feasibly keep the objects in a logical manner – this is quite satirical as people who hoards usually creates a visual chaos. But despite the fact that this disorder may be hideously obvious for people other than the hoarder, he / she (the hoarder) frequently discovers reason in this. To the hoarder, a stack of junk could appropriately be the single way he / she could feel certain organization and control.
To offer help on hoarding in terms of organizing things, let the person feel that he or she has a sense of control over his things. Make him or her be responsible for the things he or she owns while firmly imposing the general rule to him or her as to not affect the other people by his choice and means of organization.
4. There is also the issue on responsibility.
The inclination to feel responsible in an exaggerated level is a typical tendency for people with OCD. They tend to feel more accountable for what is transpiring around them and the people important to them.
With hoarding, the effect is the gathering of things which they bring (with them) almost always believing that anytime, the occasion would call for the need of it. And these people would also feel obligated to put into use a specific thing so that disposal would seem to be wasting to some degree. The result would be piling up these items which they believe are still and will still be useful at some point.
You could extend help for hoarding by making the person realize that these items are readily available in case they are needed, and that help and assistance from other family members and friend are readily available too. This will give the person a feeling of relief that would lessen the feeling of being responsible for everything all the time.
5. They are scared of letting go.
Another element that becomes a stimulus to hoard is the anxiety and fear of letting go.
The notion of losing stuffs becomes an anxiety for people who hoards since this would entail that there is no returning once the thing has been disposed and that, to them is scary.
But it also had somewhat to do with stuffs being transient. Keeping things would mean they are giving time and opportunity for those things to exist. This would subconsciously relate to the fear of death.
In life, permitting to let go of things or even people is necessary to understand and feel a certain sense of liberty but for somebody with OCD, this could mean letting control slip out of their hands – the last thing they would want to happen.
Compulsive hoarding is not that well understood today and some people see it as something normal but the fact is it isn’t. Help for hoarding is widely available and understanding it would greatly benefit the person with hoarding issues as well as his or her family and friends.