What to Know About Hoarding Disorder

Many people keep things that have sentimental value, and while there’s nothing wrong with wanting to preserve a special memory, this desire can also lead to a major problem. Storing a few keepsakes is one thing, but if it escalates to one’s inability to get rid of old junk, then it’s likely to develop into a full-fledged hoarding disorder. 

You often see shows that provide glimpses of a hoarder’s life, but in reality, it’s a more serious mental condition that can have devastating effects on the health and well-being of those who suffer from it.

What is a Compulsive Hoarding Disorder?

A person who has compulsive hoarding disorder feels compelled to save things in spite of not really having any use for them. In some cases, the hoarder keeps the items for sentimental value. However, most just seem to have an insatiable urge to save things that they believe may one day be useful.

Unfortunately, this can have a huge impact on the hoarder’s life. Clutter piles up quickly in a disorganized living space, which also makes it difficult to even move around. Additionally, it can be a fire hazard, and those with a hoarding disorder are absolutely allergic to throwing anything away.

How is Hoarding a Mental Disorder?

Identified as an official mental health issue by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the psychiatric community has identified the symptoms that are common to someone with a hoarding disorder. 

While it is currently not considered a severe mental disorder to the same degree as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, it is classified as a “severe” mental disorder. Here are the symptoms to watch out for:

  • Acquiring an excessive amount of items that aren’t needed.
  • Cannot bear to throw away or give away items.
  • Feel the need to save items.
  • Unable to determine what the items are actually worth.
  • Items are in disarray and make movement difficult.
  • Has trouble organizing or cleaning the items.
  • Experiences anxiety when items are thrown out or given away.
  • Anxiety develops as the living space becomes more crowded.
  • The clutter begins to interfere with personal hygiene and sexual relations.
  • The person loses interest in activities.
  • Experiences symptoms of depression.
  • Is unable to function properly at home and work.

Hoarding is Different from Collecting

A person who is a collector is selective about the items that they choose. They know the significance of each item, and they usually treat them with the care they deserve. A hoarder, on the other hand, has no control over their urge to save items. No matter how little value an item may have, they can’t get rid of it because it makes no sense to them to do so.

The Bottom Line: Getting the Help You Need

Hoarding can have a devastating effect on the lives of those who have the disorder. It can further exacerbate existing mental health issues, and it can also make living in your home dangerous.

However, you don’t have to suffer in silence. It’s possible to get the help you need in order to kick the hoarding habit. Speak with a mental health professional about the best treatment options for you.

Do You Need the Services of a Junk Removal in Owensboro, KY?

If you’re ready to get a comprehensive residential cleanup, you’ll want to know who to call for professional junk removal in Owensboro, KY. JunkPro has been helping people get rid of their unwanted junk for years. We’re happy to be your junk removal specialists!