By: Trinity Clark
The Definition of Hoarding
The definition of hoarding is the difficulty or inability of disposing or separating oneself from personal possessions, regardless of the actual need, use or value of the item. The behavior can have long term detrimental effects that can impact the life of a hoarder and their families emotionally, physiologically, socially, financially and even in some cases legally.
These behaviors may indicate a hoarding issue:
Lack of ability to throw away possessions
Stress and anxiety when discarding of items
Issue with organization of possessions
Unable to know what is valuable to keep or put things
Feelings of embarrassment or distress due to possessions
Uncomfortable with other people touching or moving your items
Obsessive thoughts about needing to keep an item for the future, or running out of an item.
Impairment of living space, health hazards, isolating oneself, relationships suffering from inability to de-clutter, financial difficulties
Reasons People Hoard
Most people that have become hoarders feel their possessions hold more value than they really do. Or they may attach a sentimental value to an item that has no true meaning or sentiment, feel it’s irreplaceable, or is to good of a “deal” or “bargain” to throw away.
Hoarding is most associated with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depression. This disorder can either be a stand-alone issue or present a symptom of another disorder.
Diminished Quality of Life
Among hoarders, many live in unhealthy conditions, without proper heat or normal necessary comforts within their home, and have a lack of functional living space to do the obsessive need to collect and hoard items.
Hoarding can cause resentment towards the hoarder and anger and and depression for the hoarder. Living in these types of conditions may lead loss of custody, separation, divorce or eviction.
At Harmony Environmental we treat each and every hoarding situation as a unique situation – because that’s what it is. People who hoard or “collect” excessively have triggers and reasons for doing so, whether they consciously know it or not. People respond to the “de clutter” process differently. Some people feel as if they have suffered a severe loss – while others view it as an opportunity for a fresh start.