Obsessive Compulsive Hoarding Facts

OCD hoarding and how it works

Hoarding is one of the most common symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder that millions of people suffer from. Hoarding has been brought to light recently because it's featured on a number of different television shows. These show extreme hoarding cases where individuals hoard entire homes full of garbage and useless items that they don't need. This is a disorder that is classified by the excessive collection of items. People who collect these items also have a hard time giving or throwing anything away, which is why there is also a lot of garbage found in homes of OCD hoarding sufferers.

Some people state that they don't have a problem when they hoard. Instead, they say that they are just "collectors" who like certain things. It's generally pretty easy to identify someone who has a hoarding problem because they will have an excess of items that are random instead of a collection of only one or two types of things. Friends and family members normally bring the problems to light by showing the hoarder their "collection" is out of control.

Symptoms of OCD hoarding
When walking into the home of someone who hoards, it will be obvious that they have a problem. There will be virtually no floor, counter or shelf space available because everything will be filled up with random items. In addition to this, all bedrooms will also be filled with random items, sometimes up to the ceiling. Other symptoms include: no organization in the home, not being able to manage daily activities, not being able to discard things and keeping things like junk mail.

The biggest reason why people say they need to keep these things is because they could possibly use them in the future. They don't want to throw something away just in case they might get some use out of it; even if it's not until several years in the future. Emotional items are also kept, including children's clothing, awards and things that remind the individual of good times in their life.

Hoarding can also come in the form of someone who has a lot of pets. This is more than just a person who has a few dogs and cats; it's someone who has dozens of them. This could be one specific type of animal or multiple types; it just depends on the person and their preferences. This is not safe for anyone since it can be nearly impossible to clean up the feces that are produced.

Causes of OCD hoarding
There is no specific cause for this, just like with all other obsessive-compulsive disorders. Sometimes this is passed down from parents to children while other times it can end up being a result of environmental factors. Things like age, stressful life events, family history, alcohol abuse and extreme anxiety are all risk factors.

Not getting help for this can result in a lot of different health and psychological issues. It also puts individuals at risk for being hurt in their home if they were to trip and fall over their belongings. All of the things inside the living space can also result in a fire hazard. Depending on the person and what they hoard, their home can also be unsanitary and cause harm to their health.

Therapy for OCD hoarding
Therapy is extremely important for hoarders, especially extreme cases. When an individual goes into therapy they will learn why they hoard and what they can do to stop this behavior from happening. The therapist will ask a lot of questions about the feelings the individual has and what they would do in certain situations. This will provide the professional with enough insight for them to determine the proper course of treatment.

After the talking part of this treatment is finished, the therapist will expose the individual to their hoarding mess and help them clean it up. This can be extremely emotional and difficult, but well worth it once things get under way. As the items are thrown away the sufferer can free themselves of any connection they had to the things they had no use for. This experience is often enough to set the sufferer on the right path in the future so they avoid hoarding again.

Article Source: David Rodrigue


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