What is hoarding?

Hoarding is considered to be the collection of items that do not seem useful or necessary to the general population. These can be collection items (ex. Collecting keychains, stamps, mugs etc), and they can also be everyday items, like empty tubes of toilet paper, and used paper. 

The behaviour can start at any point, but generally, it starts in adolescence and goes on into adulthood. A person who hoards would generally struggle to change the behaviour, as they would feel positive feelings when receiving the new items (ex. When buying or being gifted a keychain), and they may feel guilt when throwing an item away (like throwing away used paper because either the paper has feelings, or because of the thought that that paper may be needed later on). 

The main issue related to hoarding is that the lack of hygiene-related to having so many items can cause significant physical and mental health issues later on.

 

What can I do if I am hoarding? Or if someone I know is? 

The main form of treatment for hoarding behaviour is psychotherapy. The therapist would explore with the individual what makes throwing away items so difficult, in order to get to the root of the issue. 

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