Signs and Symptoms of Compulsive Hoarding
Compulsive hoarding affects millions of Americans and can cause serious health problems to those who suffer from the disorder as well as those who live with people who suffer from the disorder.
What is Compulsive Hoarding?
Compulsive hoarding is when a person stores and collects a large amount of useless items that are of little value. In addition, these items take up the majority of space in the person’s living quarters and these items cause complications and get in the way of a person’s day to day activities.
Compulsive Hoarding and other Addiction Links
Compulsive hoarding has been linked to obsessive compulsive disorder and is more predominantly seen in people over the age of 50.
According to www.ocfoundation.org, compulsive hoarding was commonly considered to be a type of OCD. It is estimated that 1 in 4 people with OCD also have compulsive hoarding. In addition, compulsive hoarding is also considered a feature of obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) and may develop along with other mental illnesses, such as dementia and schizophrenia.
Signs & Symptoms of Compulsive Hoarding
The number one sign of compulsive hoarding is the intense difficulty getting rid of items. Most people who are hoarders cannot get rid of their items because they feel something bad may occur if they do or they feel an intense connection to their items making it an almost impossible task for them to get rid of any of their items.
Additional signs and symptoms of compulsive hoarding are:
- Massive amounts of clutter are located in places that a person uses frequently, such as house, office, and car.
- Not being able to turn down free items even if the individual has no use for the item
- Clutter is not organized and it is difficult for the person to get around through the clutter of items, but they do nothing about it
- Not allowing people, such as friends, family members and repair men into their home
- An individual feels anxious and stressed looking at the clutter that is consuming their living space
- Buying things (usually in bulk) that they do not need just because it is a good deal
- Having a difficult time finding important items in the clutter of items such as, wallets, keys and money
Compulsive hoarding can eventually cause numerous hardships to occur in a person’s life. For starters, hoarding creates a hazardous living environment for a person. Hoarding can cause fires to occur, cause bug infestations, and can jeopardize proper sanitation methods to take place for a person to rid their environment of germs and bacteria. Hoarding often leads to financial hardships being that a person feels the need to purchase unnecessary items. A hoarding disorder can also lead to relationships problems between friends, family and significant others. There are help options that people can get to aide them with overcoming their disorder and if a person is suffering from the effects of compulsive hoarding they should get help from outside sources.