What to Do When Collecting Turns to Hoarding

Author : Avery Associates | Published On : 24 Sep 2021

Compulsive hoarders house clearance may be hard to distinguish from other people until their habit becomes extreme. They just have a compelling difficulty getting rid of things. However, what sets them apart from serious collectors is the items have little or no real value. At least in the public mind, that is.

Hoards can have damaging emotional, social, financial, and physical repercussions according to Harvard Medical School affiliates McLean Hospital.  Intervention becomes necessary when collecting turns to hoarding and it negatively affects family member lifestyles.

Hoarding is a Complex Disorder Best Left to Specialists

The hoarding habit emerges from a natural inclination not to waste things. And to avoid repurposing them to new uses, although it’s the right thing to do. Many people keep used shopping bags at tops of broom cupboards ‘just in case’.

But when the collection fills the entire unit, the decent thing is to recycle it. The take away difference is compulsive hoarders are unable to do this.

Mental health specialists originally believed hoarding was a special case of obsessive compulsive disorder (Ocd house clearance). People affected by that condition have unwanted, recurring ideas, thoughts, or feelings. These drive them to do something repetitively including hoarding.

Ashley E Nordsletten and David Mataix-Cols of Karolinska Institute separated the issues in December 2011.  They suggested a new condition they termed hoarding disorder, and the idea took root. This was because colleagues generally agreed a variety of issues could trigger the condition.

How Collecting Turns to Hoarding in the Face of Pressure

Hoarding disorder triggers include severe depression, coupled to an inability to experience pleasure. However, dementia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and problems controlling impulses may also set it off. The disorder may complicate interpersonal relationships too:

1     The hoard may intrude into family living space reserved for other activities.

2     There may be no space for sitting, relaxing, enjoying hobbies, or taking a shower.

3     The collection may spill out into the garden and become an unsightly mess.

4     Neighbours may find their lifestyle affected to the extent they call social welfare.

5     Major depression can result in the affected person being unable to care for themself.

                                          when collecting turns to hoarding

Compulsive Hoarding Takes Over the Garden 

Is There a Cure for Compulsive Hoarding, Perhaps?

Compulsive hoarding is a psycho-social, not a medical condition. We cannot therefore speak of cures, although there are procedures that can help. This is most likely if treatment begins soon after collecting turns to hoarding, as opposed to when the habit is entrenched.

A mental abnormality is often behind compulsive hoarding syndrome. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) has thus become the preferred treatment. Main line CBT helps identify and change thought patterns underlying undesirable behaviour. For example, if a hoarder can’t reconcile the death of a loved one, that is where treatment begins.