Humans tend to have difficulties with surrendering the things that we value most. Things like receipts from your first date, the shoebox that was notably purchased on a payday, letters from various individuals showing their warmth towards us, expensive shoe collection, and even books you have not read.

Lately, a mental health condition known as hoarding has come into remarkable public awareness presented on the television demonstrating homes packed with a massive amount of things.

Individuals with Hoarding Disorder may not even recognize that they have the disorder making it difficult to seek professional help.

Yet, serious and adequate treatment can help individuals with Hoarding Disorder see how their beliefs and practices can be changed to live a secure and enjoyable life.

What is Hoarding Disorder and How is it Serious?

Based on the description of DSM-5, it is the collection of random materials with the difficulty of discarding the possessions that lead to persistent accumulation of materials where it clutters and congests the active living areas.

The hoarding itself causes significant distress and impairment in occupational, social, and even maintaining a safe environment for a person and for other people as well.

The American Psychiatric Association highlighted that individuals with hoarding disorder unnecessarily spare things that others may see as useless. They have difficulty disposing of or leaving behind belongings, prompting mess that disturbs their capacity to utilize their living or workspaces.

People with hoarding disorder experience discarding things because they perceive the need to save the items accompanied by significant distress. Hoarding Disorder is categorized under Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It has been evaluated that one out of four individuals with OCD is more likely to have compulsive hoarding behaviors.

As a matter of fact, Hoarding Disorder is being reconsidered to have its own diagnostic category. Hoarding Disorder is associated with fluctuating degrees of anxiety and even depression.

Signs and Symptoms of Hoarding Disorder

Here are the signs and symptoms of Hoarding Disorder you must take note of in order to seek immediate help from experts:

  • Persistent difficulty in throwing or discarding possessions.
  • Severe anxiety in attempting to dispose of possessions.
  • Struggling to organize belongings.
  • Uncertainty about what to keep or where to put things
  • Distress and being overwhelmed by the acquisition of objects.
  • Doubt of others touching or stealing the items.
  • Consistent fear of running out of the objects that may need in the future and constant checking of the trashcan in case they have accidentally throw out the object
  • Loss of living space, isolation, relationship problems, financial problems, and health hazard.

While hoarding frequently emerges during middle-age, chances are hoarding may arise during adolescents. Numerous hoarders are likewise socially isolated and may start to be drawn to hoarding as a way of finding comfort and coping.

The Reason behind Hoarding

One of the reasons why individuals hoard is because they perceive that these objects may be useful later. Or they feel that the object has its sentimental value that is irreplaceable and is huge even to throw away.

A person may also associate the item with a particular event or a person wherein when they decided to discard it, they find it hard to remember that particular event that took place or the person associated with it.

Some may even find it hard to decide where to place it, so they think “might as well keep it.”

Hoarding disorder causes and relieves anxiety. The more a person hoards, the more they feel protected from the world and its dangers.

On the other hand, the more they hoard, the more they feel separated and isolated from the world and their loved ones.

The idea of disposing or parting an object triggers extreme distress and anxiety.

Differentiate Collecting vs. Hoarding

Hoarding disorder is different from the collection. Individuals who have collections, such as stamps or model vehicles, intentionally search out explicit things, organize them, and cautiously show their collections.

Even though collections can be tremendous, they aren’t typically scattered all over the place. Collectors do not feel any distress or experience impairments, which are significant features of Hoarding Disorder.

Collectors have a great sense of pride in their collections, and they even put it on a glass display to keep it secured. Some collectors are even enthusiastic about discussing their collections. Collectors feel a sense of fulfillment and delight when putting more into their collection and even invest money and time to organize it.

Meanwhile, individuals who hoard usually experience humiliation about their possessions despite their value. They are not comfortable when others see their possessions.

People who hoard have cluttered, filthy space, and they feel ashamed and distressed after acquiring additional possessions that may even be the cause of their debt.

It is important to discuss this matter as many would overthink and stereotype people who normally collect items. Not all people who collect have Hoarding Disorders. There are

Do people also hoard animals?

Yes, animal hoarding exists and is discussed by many experts. Animal hoarding includes individuals keeping a large number of animals inside their property.

The animals might be kept in an improper and filthy space, conceivably making undesirable, hazardous conditions for the animals.

Animals might be contained inside or outside the premise. Due to the huge numbers, these animals frequently are not given proper care and attending.

The well-being and security of the individual and the animals are in danger due to unsanitary conditions.

When to seek help from experts?

As hard as it very well may be, if your loved one’s hoarding disorder undermines wellbeing or security, you may need to contact professionals such as Clinical Psychologist.

On the off chance that you or a friend or family member has manifestations of hoarding disorder, talk with experts who are licensed and certified to evaluate and diagnosed their condition.

Psychological experts may need to talk with loved ones to help make a decision or rating scales to help evaluate the degree of their functioning.

A few people with hoarding disorder may perceive that they may have the disorder while others do not.

About Admin

Nicole T. Conquilla is a 21-year old registered Psychometrician in the Philippines. She is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Psychology who is a strong mental health advocate and encourages people to discuss, help, and support one another to cope and get through their mental health problems.

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