Hoarding disorder is a condition characterized by the excessive accumulation of items, difficulty discarding possessions, and clutter that interferes with the normal use of living spaces. Hoarding can be a serious problem that can affect a person’s health, safety, and quality of life.
There are several types of hoarding, including:
- Acquiring hoard: This is when a person has a strong urge to acquire new items, even if they don’t need them.
- Cluttering hoard: This is when a person has difficulty keeping their living spaces organized, resulting in clutter.
- Sentimental hoard: This is when a person has difficulty discarding items that have sentimental value.
The causes of hoarding disorder are not fully understood, but it is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. Some studies suggest that people with hoarding disorder have abnormal brain function, which makes it difficult for them to process information about possessions.
Symptoms of hoarding disorder include:
- Difficulty discarding items, even if they are no longer needed or wanted.
- Excessive accumulation of items that leads to clutter and interferes with the normal use of living spaces.
- Difficulty organizing possessions.
- Strong attachment to possessions, even if they are of little or no value.
- Social isolation and difficulty maintaining relationships
- Financial difficulties
Diagnosis of hoarding disorder is typically made by a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, through a combination of a clinical interview and a review of the person’s symptoms.
Treatment options for hoarding disorder include:
- Therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, to help a person learn how to manage their hoarding and reduce clutter
- Medication, such as antidepressants, to help with symptoms of anxiety or depression that may be associated with hoarding disorder
- Supportive services, such as case management and vocational rehabilitation, to help a person with hoarding disorder lead a more independent life
- Clean-up and organization services which are specialized teams that help with decluttering the living spaces
It’s important to note that hoarding disorder is a chronic and recurrent condition that requires a comprehensive treatment approach, involving therapy, medication, and support services.
For further support and information please book an appointment with our specialists….
To learn more about hoarding disorder, please click on https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/hoarding-disorder/
Dr Ibrahim Yahli MD MRCPsych