Understanding What Hoarding Is and Why People Hoard


English: Compulsive hoarding home yard

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Hoarding can be described as the extreme collection of items and is accompanied with the inability to get rid of them. This has severe consequences as it might end up creating living conditions that are cramped. This is due to having too many things to the extent that there are only narrow pathways that wind through the numerous clutters. Different people collect different things. Some hoarders collect animals, they end up having hundreds of pets that end up living under unsanitary conditions.

There are times when this can be a symptom OCD (Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder).  However, there are some people who will hoard and yet do not any have symptoms that are related to the disorder. Persons who hoard do not think that they have a problem. This is one of the reasons why treating the condition can be quite challenging. Nonetheless, by going through intensive treatment, they are able to understand the compulsions more. This ensures that they can live safely and enjoy life more.

In the hoarders’ homes, you are likely to find stairways, desks, stoves, counter tops, sinks and practically all surfaces filled with stuff.  When the space inside fills up, the clutter will spill over to the yard, garage, and vehicles and to anywhere where there is free space. This usually affects behavior, thoughts and emotions.

Some of the symptoms and signs of this may be; living spaces that are cluttered and not being able to get rid of the items that have been collected. Also keeping stacks of junk mail, magazines and newspapers is another sign. Transferring things from one stack to the next without getting rid of them and getting things that you do not need from restaurants can be signs of hoarding. Other signs are not being able to handle activities that should be done on a daily basis, having a hard time organizing things, embarrassment or shame, unnatural attachment to possessions and limited or non existing social life.

Most people who keep the items that they do not need have a belief that they will have value in the future. There are some who also have emotional attachment to the things they collect. These may represent something that is close to them. This may result in feeling safe when they around these items as they mostly remind them of happier times.  It is important to have in mind that collecting is different from hoarding. This is because collectors normally look out for specific things that will complete their collections for instance model cars or stamps. Hoarders on the other hand will pick random things from different places without any reason.

This condition normally ranges from mild to severe.  There are times when the person will not be affected by the activity and there are some serious cases where a persons’ life is affected. If it is serious, individuals are advised to see professional doctors to help get their lives back on track. It is usually best to see the doctor as soon as possible so that the problem can be dealt with on time before it becomes too serious.

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