What is Hoarding?

Hoarding is a psychological disorder characterized by an inability to throw away any items. In some cases it may be characterized by an individual who continually purchases or acquires new possessions even when they are not needed. There are also individuals who are obsessed with one particular type of item, and become obsessed with compiling as many things as possible. For example an individual may feel the need to find as many toasters as possible. This is not someone who collects different styles of toasters, but someone who constantly feels the need to find as many toasters as possible regardless of whether or not they actually work.

Hoarding can lead to a number of problems that affect all areas of the individual’s life. The biggest impact may be on their personal life. Most people have seen one of these individuals appear on television on one of the more popular talk shows such as Oprah. These individuals are usually experiencing a number of problems in their lives, including their personal lives.

Imagine for a moment sharing a home with someone who has a hoarding problem. The situation may be so extreme that the person refuses to throw away old newspapers, broken dishes, and even empty soda bottles. This can put an enormous strain on a relationship as well as leading to some serious arguments and fights. In some situations this has led to divorces, or the spouse moving out of the home.

There are also medical problems associated with hoarding especially if the individual holds onto to things for a long period of time. Poor ventilation combined with a water problem can cause serious problems that lead to medical problems. The combination of factors can lead to mold troubles and because of the sheer volume of items, the individual may not see the mold. That may lead to different types of illnesses.

Hoarding is generally related to people who have an unhealthy emotional attachment to things that cross their path on a daily basis. Another type of hoarding relates to people who have problems with information processing in their brain. With this type of hoarding the person does not feel an attachment, but their brain simply cannot process the difference between trash and treasure. Rather than making the mistake of throwing away something they need, the person holds onto everything. They may want to throw away some of their belongings, but they simply cannot decide what can be thrown away and what needs to be saved.

Hoarding is a serious complex that may require psychological attention. There are a number of books available on the market that claim to cure hoarding, but most experts agree that individuals need to have counseling to solve their problem. Even with professional treatment, not all types of hoarding can be cured. There are certain situations where an individual simply does not respond to treatment. Each case is different, and depends on the situation as well as the willingness of the individual.

Matt D Murren owns and operates Hoarding

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