This type of hoarding is a common problem that can be potentially disabled. It is characterized by excessive clutter accumulation, where it can reach the point where parts of a person’s house can no longer be used for the purpose it is intended for. If it reaches that point, professional hoarding cleanup services may be needed. Frequently compulsive hoarding, which can affect as many as 2 million individuals in the U.S. is found in patients who have other diseases, which includes anorexia, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. It is seen most often in patients who have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Researchers are not sure whether compulsive hoarding is a separate disorder or sub-type of OCD.
Compulsive Hoarding FAQs
Is hoarding considered to be a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder? Currently, many researchers considered compulsive hoarding to be a kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, in some individuals, it might also be related to:
- Certain personality traits
- Bipolar disorder
- Social anxiety
- Impulse control disorders (like stealing or impulsive buying)
How common is the problem of compulsive hoarding? What features does it have?
We don’t exactly know how common it is. Some researcher has made a guess that approximately one half of a percent of the overall population suffers from the condition of compulsive hoarding. However, the actual number might be much higher than this. Usually, people being to hoard during either early adolescence or childhood. This problem normally doesn’t become until the individual is an adult. The problem of compulsive hoarding might run in families. Numerous individuals suffering from compulsive hoarding don’t recognize just how bad their problem actually is. Frequently it is other members of the familiar who are bothered most by the clutter that is the result.
What Are The Causes Of Compulsive Hoarding?
- It is believed that compulsive hoarding results from problems having to do with one or more of the following areas: Information processing. Individuals with compulsive hoarding frequently have problems like:
- Difficulties with categorizing their possession (for instance, deciding whether or not an item is valuable)
- Difficulties with deciding what to do with their possessions
- Difficulties with remembering where their possessions are (which can cause them to want everything to be kept in sight so that they don’t forget where they are located)
1. Beliefs regarding possessions. Individuals with compulsive hoarding frequently:
- Have strong feelings of emotional attachments about their possessions (for instance, an item may be felt like it is a part of them or very special)
- Needing to stay in control of all of their possessions (not wanting anyone to move or touch them)
- Worrying they will forget things (their possessions are used to visually remind them)
2. Emotional distress regarding discarding items. Individuals with compulsive hoarding frequently:
- Feel very upset or anxious whenever they make a decision about getting rid of things
- Feel distressed whenever they see something that they want and don’t think they will feel better until the object has been acquired
- Control uncomfortable feelings through putting things off until later or avoiding making decisions
Compulsive Hoarding Treatment
When it comes to compulsive hoarding, there are no cures. Which means that there isn’t any treatment that will completely make a problem go away and not ever come back. However, there are some treatments available that might help people more effectively manage their symptoms.
1. Medications For People With Hoarding Problems
In research studies where antidepressant medications are used (which increase serotonin activity levels in the brain) demonstrate that some individuals that compulsive hoarding do respond to those medications well. However, many other people do not. Individuals who have compulsive hoarding don’t seem to respond to medications as well as individuals with other types of symptoms of obsessive-compulsive behavior.
2. Cognitive-behavioral therapy
A type of counseling that goes well beyond merely talking. With this type of treatment, a therapist will frequently visit the individuals home. This helps the person learn how to think clearly and make better decisions regarding their possessions. However there haven’t been as many studies regarding this type of treatment, so it is difficult to say for sure how effective of a treatment that cognitive-behavioral therapy is for hoarding. Available evidence does suggest that this type of therapy is effective for individuals who have compulsive hoarding, and maybe more so than medications are.