What Is Hoarding Disorder?
Hoarding disorder is characterized by persistent difficulty discarding possessions regardless of their actual value. This difficulty results in the accumulation of properties that congest and disorganize living areas to such an extent that the intended use of the areas is compromised to a great extent.
Hoarding disorder often begins at a milder level during adolescence and gradually worsens with age, causing clinically significant impairment by the mid-30s. At any given time, an estimated 2 to 6% of people have this disorder. It is equally prevalent in women and men.
Signs And Symptoms Of Hoarding Disorder
Hoarding disorder is usually chronic, with little or no remission and a reduction or spontaneous remission of symptoms.
Patients have a strong need to protect objects, and they experience significant distress when parting with objects or contemplating parting with them. Patients hoard a large number of objects for which they have insufficient space; Objects make living space so congested and cluttered that large areas become unusable except for hoarded objects. For example, piles of accumulated newspapers can fill sinks and cover countertops and stoves in the kitchen, preventing these areas from being used for food preparation.
Hoarding symptoms often impair social, occupational, or other areas of functioning. For example, patients may not allow other people, including family members, friends, and repairmen, into the home because they are embarrassed by the clutter.
Hoarding can result in unsafe living conditions (for example, by creating a fire hazard or increasing the risk of falls) and can lead to eviction or legal problems.
Animal hoarding is a form of hoarding disorder in which patients hoard animals in large numbers despite the animal’s deterioration or the environment (overcrowding) despite adequate nutrition, hygiene, and veterinary care.
The degree of insight varies. Some patients believe that beliefs and behaviors related to hoarding are problematic but many are not. About 80 to 90% of people with hoarding disorder also acquire objects excessively.
Hoarding Disorder Diagnosis
Hoarding is distinguished from momentary accumulation and clutter (for example, when the property is inherited) by its persistence and other characteristics. In addition, patients resist giving away or selling hoarding items. Collectors (for example, of books or figurines) may, like hoarders, acquire and keep large numbers of items, but unlike hoarders, collections are organized and organized and significantly take up essential living space. Do not clutter up and compromise their intended use or malfunction. Or the protection of the home environment.
The diagnostic criteria for hoarding disorder include the following;
- Patients have persistent difficulty discarding or discarding objects, regardless of their actual value.
- Difficulty in discarding objects due to the perceived need to protect them and the distress associated with discarding them.
- The accumulated wealth tends to congest and clutter active living areas (i.e., not basements or storage areas) and substantially compromise the intended use of these areas.
- Hoarding causes significant distress or affects social, business, or other areas of functioning.
Hoarding Disorder Treatment
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- SSRIs may be helpful, although data on their efficacy is limited.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy designed to treat the specific symptoms of hoarding may also be helpful. For example, this type of therapy focuses on helping patients to discard objects, avoid acquiring new possessions (if an excessive acquisition is a problem) and improve their decision-making abilities.
Motivational techniques are often needed to encourage patients to participate in and stay in treatment.