Hoarding: Overcoming the Suffocation of Things
We all have different things we love to keep in our possession. Whether that is pictures we have taken around the world, a collection of priceless cards, or even those action figure collections that you have from your childhood we love to hold on. At what point is hoarding up things you never use too much? Is there a limit to hoarding before it becomes unhealthy? Find out today as we look into hoarding and its effects on our health.
What Is Hoarding?
If you’re like me you’ve seen a few episodes of Hoarding: Buried Alive. If we learned anything from that show is that hoarding can be very dangerous when taken too far. Hoarding is the persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value. ADAA.org describes the behavior as having deleterious effects, such as emotional, physical, social, financial, and even legal. In the U.S., hoarding effects anywhere from 700,000 to 1.4 million Americans. Hoarding is also considered a form of OCD but does not necessarily affect people who are not OCD. Those who suffer from hoarding usually fear throwing away something valuable or something with significant value.
Associated Hoarding Risk
Hoarding can run in the family and usually can be associated with other mental health disorders. Hoarding can start as early as childhood and slowly can become more severe as they grow. Some consequences of hoarding can cause homelessness, health problems due to clutter, garbage, animal or human feces in some rare cases. It is a risk to children safety due to fire hazards and clutter, the Department of Children and families might also remove the child if seen fit. Hoarding can also lead to living condition problems with the quality of air, development of mildew and fungus, sanitation issues, and much more.
Overcoming the Hoard
It can be hard to overcome but with the right effort, you can help someone overcome the mental health condition. A few things you can do is not enabling the behavior by avoiding giving someone a collection of things or even shopping at certain types of stores. Instead of trying to take away their belongings which can ruin the relationship help them sort out what they need and what they don’t. You cant clean up for a hoarder. There will be no progress in that but help them make a list of things that need to be cleaned checking off the list one at a time. Recognize the small victories, this won’t be easy to overcome. But with the right love and compassion, you can help someone overcome this obstacle, which might be blocking their life.