“Owning is owing, Having is hoarding.”
(Ursula K . Le Guin)
Most people have various items lying around their house that they don’t really need. Many of them claim themselves as collector but what if you are collecting useless and unnecessary items? If you are doing this, then you are a hoarder, not a collector and you are suffering from hoarding disorder. Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. People with hoarding disorder excessively save items that others may consider as useless. They often save and store random items and consider them useful for future. Some may also feel that they are valuable and have sentimental value. HD was first defined as a mental disorder in the 5th edition of the DSM in 2013.
"Some researches shows that hoarding disorder is more common in males than females.Some researches shows that hoarding disorder is more common in males than females".
Hoarding is not same as collecting. In collecting, people look for particular, fixed and useful items such as stamps and model cars and may organize and display them. They keeps their collection in an organized manner. They also manage their schedule and money. But people with hoarding disorder collect excessive number of items and stores them in a disorganized and chaotic manner that results in uncountable and unmanageable amount of items. Items that are often hoarded include:
1- Newspaper and magazines.
2- Clothes and books.
3- Broken things or trash
4- Kitchens that cannot be used for food preparation.
5- Household supplies.
6- Leaflets and letters.
7- Useless beds, tables, and chairs.
8- Containers (plastic bags and boxes)
9- Bills and receipts.
"Animal hoarding involves keeping larger than usual numbers of animals as pets without having the ability to properly house or care for them".
1- Brain injury that activate the need to save things.
2- Having a relative with the disorder.
3- Uncontrollable and crazy buying habits.
4- Traumatic life events.
5- Mental disorders such as depression and obsessive compulsive disorder.
1- Extreme stress about throwing items.
2- Anxiety about needing items in the future.
3- Checking the trash for discarded objects.
4- Blaming excessive clutter on their space’s size or lack of organization.
5- Having dispute with loved ones because of excessive clutter.
6- Struggles to categorize and organize items.
Hoarding can cause illness, distress and impairment. As a result hoarders often feel anxious or depressed due to the clutter and get into a lot of argument with family members regarding the clutter.
It may be difficult to convince a person with hoarding disorder to recognize and accept the condition. Because most of them do not recognize hoarding as a problem. The main treatment is CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). CBT will be connected with practical tasks and a plan to work on. People with hoarding disorder should take a responsibility for clearing the useless items from their home. The goal of therapist to enhance their organizational and decision making skills. people also need anti-depressant medications to help them cope with the stress and anxiety of the conditions.
The person gradually becomes better at throwing things away, learning that nothing terrible happens and also becomes better in arranging items.
Written by Zainab Iqbal