You have likely seen or heard references to hoarders in your daily life or in pop culture. There is a popular TV series Hoarder, that explores the lives of people suffering from compulsive hoarding. And you may even have been asked to “hoard” by a friend or family member when you refused to get rid of an item that is no longer of use.
But while sometimes it comes down to jokes and entertainment, hoarding disorder is a serious problem – and we should all work to understand it a little better.
The basics of hoarding
The hoarding disorder is characterized by a recurring reluctance to part with personal possessions. People suffering from compulsive hoarding often accumulate myriad items, regardless of “real” value, and refuse to dispose of those items. Over time, their homes and apartments fill up with these items, affecting their ability to lead normal lives and, in many cases, causing property deterioration.
People who inherit a hamster’s property and those trying to help a loved one often have limited options for getting help. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other therapeutic techniques have been shown to help the after-schoolers to at least partially resolve their inner anxiety. However, if the property has been badly damaged, your best option is to sell the house as it is. Otherwise, you will need to hire professional cleaning staff.
Signs and Symptoms of Hydrangea
These are some of the most notable signs and symptoms of a hoarding disorder:
Excessive accumulation of objects. People who hoard end up with an exorbitant number of items. This can be virtually anything, including collectibles, newspapers, and even fast food packaging.
Strong sense of attachment to objects. Hoarding disorder also causes people to develop unnaturally strong feelings of attachment to the items they own. This is not just an empty french fry box – it’s a very important empty french fry box that under no circumstances can be thrown away.
Feelings of fear and / or fear of removing objects. The thought of getting rid of an item fills a person with a hoarding disorder with anxiety. You can’t bear to throw things away, donate, or otherwise give up ownership.
Accumulated clutter. The hoarders’ houses are usually very crowded. Objects are scattered all over the place and it can be difficult (or impossible) to move around.
Indecision, avoidance, and perfectionism. There are a variety of other personality traits that are generally associated with hoarding disorder. For example, people with compulsive hoarding tend to be very indecisive about avoiding problems and being perfectionists.
Hoarding does not always focus on inanimate objects. In some cases, the desire for accumulation can extend to animals. In these tragic cases, hoards sometimes acquire dozens or even hundreds of pets. Countless cats can roam the house or hundreds of animals can be kept in makeshift terrariums around the house. Due to the sheer number of animals present, the overcrowded condition of the house, and the caretaker’s inability to look after them, these animals are generally not cared for properly. They may not be fed enough and may live in unsanitary conditions.
When to seek help
Most of us have had difficulty separating from items in the past, and many of us have collections that we are proud of. However, these are normal behaviors. How can you tell when someone is really collecting and when someone needs help?
Physical disorder. One of the most obvious hallmarks is physical disorder. People with large collections often take care to properly categorize each item and display it with pride. Articles are on shelves or are being filed. But with a hoarding disorder, things are much less organized. There are piles and piles of items all over the house that serve little to no purpose.
Emotions and attitudes. You can also identify hoarding disorder by the emotions and attitudes of the person collecting items. When thinking about getting rid of something, do you just hesitate or do you seem paralyzed with fear? Are you aware that your collection is getting out of hand or are you dying to collect more at all costs?
Responding to help. Also, pay attention to how that person reacts to help. If you make a suggestion or try to help them clean, do you react aggressively? Or do they accept things?
If you or a loved one is suffering from compulsive hoarding, the best place to turn to a therapist. A professional can help you analyze the situation and provide you or your loved one with the therapeutic techniques and resources necessary to minimize the effects of the disorder.
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