What is Hoarding Disorder & What Can Help?
As a consequence of reality tv shows and common misconceptions about the condition, hoarding disorder is deeply misunderstood by many.
People with hoarding disorders have an excessive attachment to their belongings, even ones that seem worthless or unusable. Buying and accumulating things bring great comfort to them, though they become incredibly distressed at the thought of throwing these items away.
The ongoing buildup of collected items can lead to unsafe and unhealthy living conditions, not to mention causing tension in personal relationships. While no one should have to live in unsanitary conditions, it’s important to remember that your loved one has not chosen to become a hoarder.
Learning about this mental disorder and the signs associated with it can help you help your loved one gain control of their life.
What You Need to Know About Hoarding Disorder
People with a hoarding disorder (HD) have constant difficulty getting rid of possessions due to a perceived need to save them.
Stress, shame, and anxiety are just some of the feelings that accompany people suffering from HD. Besides mental and emotional health concerns, a HD can present a physical danger to the person struggling as well as the people they share a home with.
Potential consequences of serious hoarding include fire hazards, health code violations, and tripping hazards. Typically hoarded items can be anything from magazines and newspapers to clothing and household goods.
People with hoarding disorder may not see it as a problem, making treatment quite challenging. Self-motivation, the desire to change one’s behaviour, and the involvement of a doctor are necessary elements in treating an HD.
Signs and Symptoms of Hoarding Disorders
It’s important to note that collecting and hoarding are two completely different things.
Collectors usually acquire possessions in an organized and intentional fashion. However, the acquisition of objects by people who hoard is largely impulsive and triggered by the sight of an object that could be owned.
Hoarding disorders gradually develop over time, generally starting during the teenage years. Some of the most common symptoms of a hoarding disorder include:
- Inability to get rid of possessions
- Distrust of other people touching possessions
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Anxiety about needing items in the future
- Procrastination and disorganization
- Build up of clutter to the point where rooms become unusable
For many, hoarding becomes more problematic with age and symptoms become harder to treat. Treatment can help people suffering from HD decrease their acquisition and clutter and live safer enjoyable lives.
Help & Cleaning Services
Dealing with a loved one’s hoarding can be stressful and frustrating.
Many people collect things as a hobby or for sentimental reasons. But people with a hoarding disorder accumulate possessions because it’s distressing to discard them.
First Response’s dedicated hoarding specialists work to address the numerous complexities of the illness. We seek to provide solutions with integrity, discretion, and ethics at top of mind. Our team will work with you to achieve mutually set goals so that you can begin living a quality life.
If you or a loved one are struggling with a hoarding situation, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experts today.