Hoarding 101

Hoarding affects 5% of the population. Hoarding is a disorder that may be present on its own or as a symptom of another disorder. Those most often associated with hoarding are obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depression. What causes hoarding? there’s usually a “trigger” — whether that’s death, divorce, post-trauma or even something simpler, such as children who have recently moved out. There’s usually some life event that sets off the behavior. But how do you decide if you’re a hoarder or someone that just likes to collect things?
“The easiest way we define it is when you lose functionality,”

What are the signs that someone I know may be a hoarder?
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, here are a few of the symptoms that a hoarder may possess:

• It becomes very difficult for them to get rid of unnecessary items.
• The thought of throwing something away gives the individual severe anxiety.
• Limited ability to keep items within their space organized.
• They are overwhelmed by the thought of others seeing their possessions, yet they cannot make decisions on where to properly store items in the home.

Do you have a friend or family member who is ready to talk about hoarding? When a person seems willing to talk about a hoarding problem, follow these guidelines:
• Respect. Acknowledge that the person has a right to make their own decisions at their own pace.
• Have sympathy. Understand that everyone has some attachment to the things they own. Try to understand the importance of their items to them.
• Encourage. Come up with ideas to make their home safer, such as moving clutter from doorways and halls.
• Team up with them. Don’t argue about whether to keep or discard an item; instead, find out what will help motivate the person to discard or organize.
• Reflect. Help the person to recognize that hoarding interferes with the goals or values the person may hold. For example, by de-cluttering the home, a person may host social gatherings and have a richer social life.
• Ask. To develop trust, never throw anything away without asking permission.

For more information,visit hoarders.com