What Is Hoarding Disorder?
Hoarding disorder is among other obsessive-compulsive disorders. Hoarders tend to accumulate large quantities of material items, usually enough to cause chaos and anxiety in family and social relationships.
Hoarding disorders only recognize in cases of significant distress and disruption to a person’s life. Also, it is not the result of other mental illnesses.
One study showed that HD often co-occurs with people suffering from major depressive disorder. Also followed by anxiety disorders, which are generalized social phobia and OCD.
Someone might accumulate many different items. The most common examples are newspapers, clothing, books, cleaning equipment, food, and junk mail. People also collect animals.
Causes Of Hoarding Disorder
It is not yet clear what triggers this disorder. Genetics, brain chemical processes, and stressful life events are possible reasons. People tend to accumulate items because they believe they will prove helpful soon. They might think it is of incredible value, unbeatable and unique, or a significant loss to discard.
They could also view an item as a symbol of good memories, assuming they would not be able to recall an important person or event. Additionally, they cannot decide what belongs to something and whether it is best to keep it.
Hoarding is a condition that may be present in its own right or as a sign of another disorder. The most frequently reported symptoms of this disorder are:
- A condition characterized by difficulty focusing and maintaining attention (ADHD)
Hoarding Risk Factors
According to the scientific and psychological literature, the median age of hoarding-related behaviours is 12 years old. Clinically it becomes more severe with the advancing years. The tendency to hoard often runs in families.
Life events that stress can create hoarding-related events or increase symptoms. Hoarders may start the aftermath of grieving the death of a beloved person. Moreover, going through a divorce, being expelled, or losing possessions due to an event like a flood or fire.
Other factors that could be a risk include:
- Social isolation.
- Separation from family and society.
- The desire to store personal belongings in them.
Being a perfectionist could be a factor in hoarding. They are concerned about whether you are making the right choices. Further, worrying about throwing things out and storing the items (indecisiveness) are also risk elements.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hoarding Disorder?
Some hoarding disorder sufferers recognize the negative effects, but most do not. Often stressful situations, like divorce or the loss of a loved one, can trigger the development of symptoms.
People suffering from hoarding disorder protect their belongings. Other signs are:
- Inability to eliminate things.
- Experimenting with extreme stress when trying to dispose of something
- Fear of needing certain things in the future
- Uncertainty regarding the best place to put things
- Do not trust anyone who touches your items.
- Living in spaces that are not usable because of the clutter.
- Refraining from family and friends.
Hoarders with disordered hoarding can hoard things for one or all of these reasons.
- They believe that the product will prove valuable or useful shortly.
- Believe the item is of sentimental value or unique.
- They think a thing is too great of a deal to dispose of.
- They hope possessing this object will remind them of a particular time or person.
These issues can significantly affect their performance and, ultimately, the extent of hoarding disorder.
Diagnosing The Disorder
It is uncommon for someone suffering from the disorder to seek treatment. In most cases, loved ones call mental health professionals to seek help. When you suspect someone you know could be a candidate to receive treatment, you should speak directly to a professional in mental health. Be aware of the signs of sanitary or unsafe living areas.
The positive side is that professionals with training examine the situation and decide if the individual is suffering from a condition.
Typically, doctors search for three indicators that suggest the cause. Only then can the patient be identified as having a medical issue. The three symptoms are:
- At the very minimum, the home of the person suffering from it is not entirely usable or functional due to being stuffed with useless objects
- The person has intense stress due to the idea dispose of all or some of the items.
- The problem of getting rid of all kinds of things.
There is a way for people suffering from hoarding disorders to reduce their savings and clutter and lead happier lives. A series of randomized controlled trials have established cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) in hoarding disorders as a successful treatment. Individuals who engage in CBT often report a marked decrease in the number of possessions.
Additionally, they learn to develop skills like organizing and relaxation. Despite the efficacy of CBT for hoarding disorders, most sufferers remain clinically impaired.
These drugs consider after better-proven treatments, including CBT for hoarding disorder. For certain people, medication can be beneficial and could lead to relief from symptoms. Suppose someone in your family or friends suffers from symptoms of hoarding disorders. In that case, you should consult your physician or a mental health expert.
In certain areas, community health services can help address hoarding issues and assist those affected. Animal rights groups may need to take action in some cases.