Are You A Hoarder? Recognize The Signs of Hoarding Today

Chances are you’ve stumbled across this article for a reason. Whether that reason is that you, yourself are a hoarder. Or someone you know may be struggling with a hoarding illness. It’s important to know what hoarding is, why people do it, and what it can do to you before getting help.

What is hoarding?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term hoarding, it means amass of valued objects that are hidden or stored away. However, this term is not to be used lightly as hoarding can be a serious illness that people suffer from. We as humans have a tendency to fall in love with our valuables. We love our objects, sometimes more than we love our own flesh and blood. It’s not our fault, it’s just in our nature. It’s the world we have evolved into today as a species.

Nonetheless, hoarding can be a huge problem. It can cause an array of mental disorders, health complications, and relationship problems. The disorder occurs in an estimated two to six percent of the population and often leads to problems functioning, and emotional distress. It can even lead to being buried alive. Yes, being buried alive can really happen if someone is truly a hoarder.

Why do people hoard?

According to the American Psychiatric Association people with a hoarding disorder feel the need to excessively save items that others may view as worthless.” So what exactly does this mean? It means that these people have difficulty letting go of objects that they don’t need, use, or that may even be garbage which leads to the disruption of their daily activities by filling their home with clutter.


People who hoard often portray the image of being a collector. But here’s the difference, collectors look for specific items to organize and display them, possibly in hopes that one day they can sell them for more money than they spent on the collection in the first place. Hoarders save random objects and store them haphazardly. After a person has gotten really bad into hoarding they will save items that should be removed from the home such as garbage or even animal feces to which they are often in denial about.

This illness often begins with a traumatic loss or grieving. As humans, we have no control over other people or death for that matter. So sometimes the only control a person feels he or she has is over the objects and valuables that they obtain. People with this disorder often believe their valuables will be useful to them in sometime in the future regardless of whether these valuables should actually be discarded or not.

What are the consequences of hoarding disorder?

As previously mentioned about this disorder has a variety of consequences. Including but not limited to problems with social and work activities, loss of important relationships, safety concerns, mental disorders, and health complications. And any children in the home can be removed.

How to know when to see a doctor?

Individuals with this disorder have a hard time discarding their possessions. They tend to have a strong perception that they need to keep the items. There is often a feeling of anxiety or depression that comes with letting go of these objects. If feelings like this arise in the home, it’s time to consult with a professional.

As hard as this might be, if you or someone you know may be struggling with a hoarding disorder you should contact your primary care physician or mental health professional as soon as possible. Many communities have professionals and agencies that are here to help. 


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