Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of the perceived need to save them. Man with hoarding disorder is suffering at the thought of how to get rid of the items. As a result, excessive accumulation of subjects regardless of the actual value occurs.

Hoarding often creates such cramped living conditions that homes may be filled, with only narrow pathways winding through stacks of clutter. Some people also collect animals, keeping tens or hundreds of animals in unsanitary conditions because they can not care for them properly.

Hoarding ranges from mild to severe. In some cases, the hoarding may not impact your life, whereas it seriously affects the operation daily in other cases.

People with hoarding disorder often do not see it as a problem, making treatment challenging. However, intensive treatment can help people with hoarding disorder understand their compulsions and live a safer, more enjoyable life.


Hoarding Disorder Causes

It’s not clear what causes hoarding disorder. However, genetics, brain chemistry, and stressful life events are studied as possible causes.

Hoarding Disorder


Hoarding Disorder Symptoms

In the homes of hoarding disorder, people, countertops, sinks, stoves, tables, ladders, and virtually all other surfaces, usually stacked with things. And when there is no more room inside, the disorder can spread to the garage, vehicles, and backyard.

The confusion and difficulty of throwing things are usually the first signs and symptoms of hoarding disorder that often surface in adolescence. As people get older, they typically begin to acquire items without need or space. By adulthood, symptoms are often severe and may be harder to treat.

Hoarding disorder affects emotions, thoughts, and behavior. Signs and symptoms may include:
  • Persistent inability to part with any possession, regardless of the
  • Excessive attachment to possessions, including discomfort, allowing others to touch or take them, or distress on the idea to enable the element to go
  • Cluttered living quarters, which makes lots of houses unfit for their intended use, for example, not being able to cook in the kitchen or use the bathroom to wash
  • Doing a stack of newspapers, magazines, or junk mail
  • Delivery of food or debris build-up unusually excessive, unsanitary levels
  • Acquiring unnecessary or seemingly useless items such as towels or garbage from a restaurant
  • The complexity of managing daily activities due to delays and problems of decision-making
  • Moving items from one pile to another, not discarding anything
  • The complexity of elements sometimes lose essential elements in a mess
  • Shame or embarrassment
  • Limited or no social interaction


People with hoarding disorder usually excluding items, because:
  • They believe these items will be needed or be relevant in the future
  • Are essential elements of emotional meaning – serving as a reminder of happier times or representing loved ones or pets
  • They feel safer when surrounded by things that they save

Hoarding disorder differs from the collection. People who have a group, such as brand or model cars, deliberately search for specific items, categorize them, and carefully display their collections. Although the collection can be extensive, they are not usually cluttered, and they do not cause disturbances and emotional stress that are part of hoarding disorder.

Animal hoarding

People who can save animals gather tens or even hundreds of pets. Animals can be limited either inside or outside. Due to a large number of these animals are often not taken care of properly. The health and safety of humans and animals are under threat because of the unsanitary conditions.


When to see a doctor

If you or a loved one has symptoms of hoarding disorder, talk to your doctor or mental health provider as soon as possible. Some communities have agencies that help with the problems of hoarding. Also, check with your local or county government for resources in your area.

As difficult as it may be, you may also need to contact the local authorities, such as police, fire, health, child protection services, or animal charities, especially when health or safety is at issue.


Hoarding Disorder Risk Factors

Hoarding disorder can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or economic status. It’s not clear, though, how often the hoarding disorder is. This is partly because some people never seek medical help…


Risk factors include:


  • Age  – Hoarding usually begins around 11 to 15 and tends to worsen with age. Younger children can start saving broken toys, pencil bumps, outdated school paper, and broken appliances. Hoarding is more common in older people than in younger adults.
  • Personality – Many people who are hoarding disorder have a temperament, which includes indecision.
  • Family history – There is a strong association between a family member who has a hoarding disorder and with the illness yourself.
  • Stressful life events – Some people develop a hoarding disorder after experiencing a stressful life event that they found difficult to cope with, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, eviction, or loss of property due to fire.
  • Social exclusion – People with hoarding disorder are usually socially withdrawn and isolated. In many cases, hoarding leads to social isolation.

Hoarding Disorder Tests and diagnosis

To help diagnose hoarding disorder, providers of mental health to conduct a thorough psychological evaluation. They can ask questions about the acquisition and dropping items and your emotional well-being. They may also ask you for permission to speak with family and friends.

Hoarding disorder appears to be more common in people with mental illnesses, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, or anxiety disorder. Thus, your mental health provider may also ask questions to see if you have other conditions of mental health symptoms.

To be diagnosed with hoarding disorder, you must meet the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria, published by the American Psychiatric Association. This guide uses mental health providers to diagnose mental conditions and insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.

Diagnostic criteria hoarding disorder include:
  • You have difficulty discarding or parting with your stuff, regardless of the actual value.
  • You feel the need to keep these items and the thought of discarding them upset you.
  • Because you do not drop any items, your crowd and things clutter your living space and make space unusable. If any premises are uncluttered, it’s because someone has to clean them.
  • Your billboard causes you significant distress or problems functioning at work, socially, or in other essential areas, such as keeping yourself and others safe in your home.
  • Your billboard is not due to another medical condition, such as traumatic brain injury or other mental disorder symptoms, such as reduced energy from significant depression.


Hoarding Disorder Treatments and drugs

Treating hoarding disorder can be difficult because many people do not recognize the negative impact on their lives or feel they need treatment. This is especially true if their property or animals offer comfort. And people whose things or animals have often taken quickly to gather more to help fulfill emotional needs.

There are two main types of treatment for hoarding disorder – psychotherapy and medication.

Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is the primary treatment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the most common form of therapy used to treat hoarding disorder. Try to find a doctor or other mental health care provider who is experienced in treating hoarding disorder.


Within the framework of cognitive-behavioral therapy, you can:

  • Examine why you feel compelled to save
  • Learn how to organize and classify the property to help you decide which ones to abandon
  • Improve your decision-making and coping skills
  • Declutter your home at -home to visit a therapist or a professional organizer
  • Learn and practice relaxation skills
  • Visit family or group therapy
  • There are periodic visits or continuation of treatment, which will help you to keep up healthy habits.


Although the primary intervention for hoarding disorder is psychotherapy, research continues on the most effective drugs to treat hoarding disorder. Drugs most commonly used are a type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.


Preparing for your appointment

Suppose you or a loved one has symptoms of hoarding disorder. In that case, your doctor may refer you to a provider of mental health services, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist with experience in diagnosing and treating hoarding disorder.

Because many people with symptoms of hoarding disorder do not recognize that their behavior is a problem, you, as a friend or family member, may experience more significant stress on hoarding than your loved one is doing.

You can first meet alone with a mental health provider to develop an approach for improving your concerns with your loved one. Then, the mental health service provider can help you prepare for the conversation to encourage your loved one to seek help.

To consider the possibility of seeking treatment, your loved one will probably require proof that no one will go to their home and start throwing things. Here is some information to help the person with hoarding disorder symptoms prepare for the first meeting and know what to expect from a mental health provider.


What can you do

Before the appointment, make a list:

  • Any symptoms you are experiencing, and how long
  • This will help mental health providers to know what items they have to save and why.
  • Enter your data, including traumatic events in your past, such as divorce or the death of a loved one.
  • Your medical information, including other physical or mental health conditions that you have been diagnosed
  • Any medication, vitamins, or other supplements or herbal products you are taking and their dosages
  • Take a trusted family member or friend along, if possible, to support and help remember the details discussed during the appointment.


Prepare questions to ask your mental health provider, such as:

  • How do you think my symptoms are a cause for concern?
  • Do you think I need treatment?
  • How can I expect my symptoms to improve with treatment?
  • What treatments are most likely to be effective?
  • How long will it take before my symptoms begin to improve?
  • How often will I need therapy sessions, and for how long?
  • Can some medications help?

Feel free to ask any other questions during your appointment.

What to expect from your mental health provider

To get an idea of ?? how the hoarding disorder affects your life, a mental health providers may ask:


  • Do you avoid throwing things away because you think you may need them later, or because they have an emotional value or both?
  • How often do you decide to purchase or save things that you have no place or use?
  • How to do it if you feel you had to give up some of your stuff?
  • Is there clutter in your home to keep you from using the room for its intended purpose, such as cooking, washing the dishes, or taking a bath?
  • Does disorder prevent you from inviting people to visit your home?
  • As the mess in your home affects your family members?
  • Whether it will take you to accomplish everyday tasks because of the noise, you have a lot of time, or you feel the need to do something perfectly?
  • Do you have so many pets that you can not take care of them properly?
  • Have you tried to reduce the clutter on your own or with the help of friends and family?
  • How successful have these efforts
  • There are others to encourage you to seek professional help
  • Do you have a close relative by blood – One of the parents or siblings – who is a thief
    you are currently being treated for any other medical conditions, including mental illness?


Lifestyle and home remedies

Here are some steps you can take to help take care of yourself:

  • Would you please stick to your treatment plan? It’s hard work, and it is normal to have some setbacks with time. But treatment can help you feel better and reduce hoarding.
  • Try to keep up personal hygiene and bathing. If you have things piled up in your bath or shower, allow to move them so that you can swim.
  • Make sure that you are getting proper nutrition. If you can not use the stove or reach your refrigerator, you can not be adequately fed. Try to clear these areas so that you can cook nutritious meals.
  • Reach out to others. Hoarding can lead to isolation and loneliness, which in turn can lead to further hoarding. If you do not want visitors to your home, try to get out to see friends and family. Support groups for people with hoarding disorder can let you know that you are not alone and help you learn about your behavior and resources.
  • Watch out for yourself. Remind yourself that you do not have to live in chaos and distress -. What you deserve better
  • Take small steps. With the help of a professional, you can tackle one area at a time. Small victories, as this can lead to great successes.
  • Focus on your goals To stay motivated to Declutter, focus on your goal -. To live a healthier and more enjoyable life to do what is best for your pet. If the number of pets you grow beyond your ability to take care of them properly, to remind themselves that they deserve to live a healthy and happy life. This is impossible if you can not provide them with proper nutrition, sanitation, and veterinary care.
  • Take care. Local resources, professional organizers, and loved ones can work with you to decide how to organize and Unclutter your home better and stay safe and healthy.


Hoarding Disorder Complications

Hoarding disorder can cause a variety of complications, including:

  • Unsanitary conditions that are hazardous to health
  • Increased risk of falls
  • Trauma or be trapped by shifting or falling off things
  • A fire hazard
  • Inability to perform everyday tasks such as bathing or cooking
  • Workability
  • Family conflicts
  • Loneliness and social isolation
  • Financial difficulties
  • Legal issues, including eviction