Hoarding Disorder: Its Consequences And Solutions

Hoarding disorder is a psychological disorder which can be simply defined as the tendency of people to accumulate personal belongings in excess of what they need. These people, termed “hoarders”, tend to persistently collect possessions despite not having the space to accommodate such possessions. Hoarders not only needlessly amass such belongings, but also regard the prospect of giving away these possessions as appalling.

Consequences of Hoarding

The most obvious and observable consequence of hoarding is that hoarders will continue to relentlessly accumulate belongings beyond the space restrictions of their homes. In other words, as the number of their possessions grows, these possessions will consume greater and greater amounts of space in the homes of the hoarders, the result being that the houses will become cluttered with piles of these items, leaving little space for much else. In extreme cases, hoarders who are extremely determined not to give away any of their belongings, will hire self storage in order to provide more space to fit their belongings, when they find their houses no longer have enough room for them.

Another consequence of hoarding would, of course, be the large amounts of money spent on amassing all these possessions. In cases where the hoarder goes the extra step of hiring self storage, then further money will be spent on hiring this space. Extreme hoarders may continue to hoard despite the adverse impact on their economic positions.

Hoarding may also negatively impact the personal relationships of the hoarder with others. For example, the spouse of the hoarder may grow tired of the destructive behaviour of the hoarder and may decide to divorce him or her.

Solutions to Hoarding

Psychotherapy is the most effective solution for finding a cure for a hoarding disorder; the hoarder would need to get professional help from a psychiatrist and may require a series of sessions spanning an indefinite time period until he or she is fully cured. The psychiatrist begins by attempting to uncover and fully grasp the reasons behind the hoarding disorder relating to the patient. The roots of the hoarding disorder of an individual may be found in another psychological disorder of the individual such as depression or schizophrenia; perhaps even incidents in the childhood of the hoarder may have been the root cause of the hoarding disorder. Once the psychiatrist has successfully uncovered the causes of the hoarding disorder in the individual he may then begin to help the patient work through these problems, with the premise that the solution of the root causes would lead to the cure of the hoarding disorder.