Hoarding Clinical Syndrome: Symptoms And Therapy

Hoarding affects millions of Americans. This disorder can be devastating not only to the person suffering from it, but to their family and community as well. Hoarding problem sufferers have a lot of clutter, which can create unsanitary and hazardous conditions in their homes. People with compulsive behavior problems are unaware of how serious their situation is. They deny that they have a problem, refuse to accept help, and do not follow through on treatment.

In general, hoarding’s cause is hard to determine. Hoarding’s underlying causes include genetics, family history and life experiences that are traumatic. Hoarders tend to have relatives who also suffer from hoarding (Walter & Zsuzsa 2007).

In a study conducted on a large group of twins, (N=5022), it was found that hoarding and its heritability are both highly prevalent (Iervolino. These findings suggest that children inherit their parents’ genes, as well as their parents and their places of residence. Unsurprisingly, the upbringing of a child has a significant impact on their personality. Hoarding is more common in children who live with parents or relatives with hoarding behavior. Compulsive Collection Compulsive collection is the habit of acquiring possessions, even if they are of no use or value, and then refusing to get rid of them (Frost & Hartl 1996) Around one quarter to a third of OCD patients hoard (Frost & Hartl 1996) Compulsive purchases are more common in hoarders (Frost and Hartl, 1998) than in control participants.


Inability of throwing away items;

Anxiety at throwing away something;

Having difficulty organizing certain areas;

You can’t decide what to do with your things

Having a hard time deciding what to do with certain things;

Certain things you don’t want touched by anyone;

They are obsessive about needing the item that they throw away.

Social isolation, financial hardship, difficulties in love and family life, health hazards. Talk therapy or psychotherapy is the main treatment. The most common type of psychotherapy for hoarding is cognitive behavioral therapy. Find a therapist with experience treating hoarding disorders.

You may be able to:

Find out and then challenge the thoughts that you have about saving and acquiring things.

Avoid the temptation to purchase more items.

Learn how to categorize and organize your possessions so you can decide what to throw away.

Develop your decision-making skills and coping abilities;

Declutter your home with a professional or therapist visiting you in the comfort of your own home.

Reduce isolation by increasing social interaction through meaningful activities.

Learn how to boost motivation and change.

Attend group or family therapy.

Continue to receive treatment or periodic visits in order to maintain good health habits.

The treatment often includes routine help from friends, family and agencies in order to clear clutter. It is especially important for those who are elderly or suffering from medical conditions, as they may find it difficult to remain motivated.


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