Do you have trouble parting with things you haven’t used in a while and probably don’t need? Are you filling your home with random things and throwing them around in disarray? Chances are you’re suffering from hoarding disorder.
This disorder affects about 2–5 percent of the population and starts as early as in your teenage years, becoming more observable with age. The things you hoard or end up piling on are what others may find worthless. These include items like old newspapers and magazines, old books, clothes that don’t fit or are worn out, junk mail, bills, receipts, and packaging material like cardboard boxes.
Want to know more? Read on to understand everything you need to know about hoarding disorder.
Reasons For Hoarding
The reasons for hoarding aren’t fully understood. However, here are a few.
- You feel like all the things you own are likely to be valuable
- You have family members who hoard.
- You had a deprived childhood with the lack of material objects.
- You are emotionally attached to most of your possessions.
Signs You May Be A Hoarder
You might be suffering from hoarding disorder if you possess the following traits:
- Inability to throw away possessions
- Difficulty in organizing possessions
- Anxiety when attempting to throw things away
- Attachment to possessions and refusing to let anyone touch or use them
- Fear of needing possessions of no value in the future
Risks Of Hoarding Disorder
Hoarding disorder could hamper the way you live your life by affecting how you function socially and by putting you at risk to health
- All the clutter you constantly surround yourself with is bound to lead to a lack of functional living space.
- You are likely to experience a great deal of discomfort when someone tries to clear your mess. This can lead to constant arguments with family and people you’re close to, affecting your social relationships.
- The unusable or broken objects and appliances you hoard are likely to subject you to safety concerns.
- Your hoarding habit may lead to unhygienic living conditions, resulting in breeding areas for rodents and insects.
In some cases, serious issues like depression, schizophrenia, or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) may also manifest as hoarding.1
Diagnosis Of Hoarding Disorder
More often than not, hoarding disorder goes undiagnosed. This is because those who suffer from it are unlikely to see it as a problem. Sometimes, they don’t even realize
Hoarding Versus Collecting: Are They The Same?
If you’re a hoarder, you’re bound to think of the things you collect as valuable. This may make you assume that you are a collector. If this is the case, know that hoarding is not the same as collecting.
- Collectors keep the items they collect in an organized manner. These items usually have monetary value. So, they feel a great sense of pride and joy in displaying them and tend to talk about them often.
It’s extremely important to tackle a hoarding problem when you see or identify it. Leaving it be will result in unhealthy living conditions and health problems to the hoarder and his or her family members.