Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions due to a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of items, leading to an excessive accumulation of items, regardless of their actual value. This disorder can lead to clutter that disrupts their ability to use their living or workspaces.
Hoarding is not the same as collecting. Collectors look for specific items, such as model cars or stamps, and may organise or display them. Those with hoarding disorder often save random items and store them haphazardly.
Consider seeking professional help if you notice any of the following:
• Excessive accumulation of items that fill up and clutter living areas of the home or workplace.
• Inability to discard items, regardless of their value.
• Feeling overwhelmed or embarrassed by possessions.
• Suspicion of others touching items.
• Experiencing distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning due to hoarding.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is considered the most effective treatment for hoarding disorder. It focuses on helping you recognise and understand your thoughts and feelings that guide your hoarding behaviours and teaching you to resist the urge to collect more items.
Organisational skills and decision-making strategies are also a critical part of the treatment process. These skills can help you declutter your living space and maintain it over time.
In some cases, medications can be used as part of the treatment plan, especially when hoarding is associated with another condition such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or depression.
If you or a loved one are struggling with hoarding, remember that you're not alone. Our team of experienced psychologists is ready to help you navigate your journey towards a less cluttered, more functional life. Why not give us a call today? It's the first step towards reclaiming control over your surroundings and living the life you deserve.