Hoarding is the difficulty or inability to dispose or separate oneself from personal possessions, regardless of the actual need, use or value of the item.
The behavior can have long term detrimental effects that can impact the life of a hoarder and their families.
This takes a toll emotionally, physiologically, socially, financially and even in some cases legally.
These behaviors may indicate a hoarding issue:
- Lack of ability to throw away possessions
- Stress and anxiety when discarding of items
- Issue with organization of possessions
- Unable to know what is valuable to keep or put things
- Feelings of embarrassment or distress due to possessions
- Uncomfortable with other people touching or moving items
- Obsessive thoughts about needing to keep an item for the future, or running out of an item.
The results are: Impairment of living space, health hazards, isolating oneself, relationships suffering from inability to de-clutter, financial difficulties
Most people that have become hoarders feel their possessions hold more value than they really do. Or they may attach a sentimental value to an item that has no true meaning or sentiment, feel it’s irreplaceable, or is to good of a “deal” or “bargain” to throw away.
Hoarding is most associated with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depression.
This disorder can either be a stand-alone issue or present a symptom of another disorder.