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What is Hoarding?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Radhika A (Md) 89% (13 ratings)
MD - Acupuncture, Diploma In Accupuncture, Advanced Diploma In Accupuncture
Acupuncturist, Delhi  •  13 years experience
What is Hoarding?

What is Hoarding?

Hoarding is the excessive collection of items, along with the inability to discard them. It’s a specific type of behavior that can have a severe impact on a person’s life.

Symptoms of Hoarding-

  • Cluttered living spaces
  • Inability to discard items
  • Keeping stacks of newspapers, magazines or junk mail
  • Moving items from one pile to another, without discarding anything
  • Acquiring useless items, including trash or napkins from a restaurant
  • Restricting others from touching or borrowing possessions
  • Difficulty managing daily activities
  • Difficulty organizing items
  • Shame or embarrassment
  • Limited or no social interactions 

Causes of Hoarding-

The exact causes of hoarding are not known.

Risk factors of Hoarding-

  • Family history
  • Starts around age 13 or 14
  • Stressful life events
  • A history of alcohol abuse
  • Socially withdrawn and isolated people

Complications of Hoarding-

  • Increased risk of falls
  • An inability to perform daily activities
  • Unsanitary conditions that pose a risk to health
  • Poor work performance
  • Family conflicts
  • Loneliness and social isolation

Diagnosis of Hoarding-
To diagnose hoarding disorder, mental health providers ask questions about compulsions and emotional well-being. He also checks for three main characteristics:

  • Acquisition of a large number of possessions that others would consider useless, along with an inability to discard them
  • Having an overly cluttered home or living spaces so cluttered that living spaces can’t be used as intended
  • Having significant distress over your hoarding or difficulty accomplishing your daily activities

Precautions & Prevention of Hoarding-

There’s no known way to prevent hoarding. Getting treatment at the first sign of a problem may help prevent hoarding from becoming severe.

Treatment of Hoarding-

Homeopathic Treatment of Hoarding-

Homeopathy helps in balancing personality. Homeopathy treats the person as a whole. Treatment is constitutional. It means that homeopathic treatment focuses on the patient as a person, as well as his pathological condition. It balances the energy system, calms mind and improve immunity and body functions. It naturally cures the root cause of disorder. Some of the homeopathic medicines that can be used for treatment of Hoarding are:

  • Ars
  • Puls
  • Merc Silicea
  • Sulph
  • Lyco
  • Sepia 

Acupuncture & Acupressure Treatment of Hoarding-

Acupuncture has good reputation of treatment in psychoemotional complaints. It calms mind and helps in overcoming psychological issues.

Psychotherapy and Hypnotherapy Treatment of Hoarding-

Cognitive behavior therapy is the most common form of psychotherapy used to treat hoarding. It helps in improving your decision-making skills. It also helps you keep up healthy habits. It helps to organize and categorize possessions to help you decide which ones to discard. Hypnotherapy is safe and quick treatment of deep seated psychological issues and barriers.

Conventional / Allopathic Treatment of Hoarding-

In the allopathic treatment, the medications most commonly used for hoarding are a type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as paroxetine (Paxil).

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