Compulsive hoarding is a regular and potentially disabling problem, characterized by the gathering of excessive litter, to the extent that parts of a person's home can no longer serve its intended purpose. It is also referred to as the act of saving many items that have been thrown away by general population. Examples of items that a hoarder might gather are broken appliances, newspapers, bags and magazines.
Hoarding can best be classified as a compulsive disorder in which a person has the potent habit of collecting and keeping useless items that have no value or benefit, but fails to discard them.
Approximately two million people in the United States are affected by compulsive hoarding, patients who display signs of hoarding normally suffer from other diseases, such as dementia, schizophrenia, anorexia and Alzheimer's. It's most present in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Doctors aren't sure whether compulsive hoarding is a division of OCD or a different disorder.
This behavior is often hard to overcome because most hoarders do not acknowledge that they have this problem. However, the right treatment can in fact make a world of a difference in their life. Here we will look closely at five tips to help overcome hoarding.
1. Assess Your Needs
Ask yourself, "Do I truly need this item?" You may come up with one hundred different reasons why you need a particular item, but the question that you ought to ask yourself is whether you in fact will use it in the present or future. If you haven't used it for many years, it is very probable that you will never use it again. The best thing for you to do is to discard these items in the trash can or sell them in a yard sale. You also don't need to keep extras of anything; if you have one, you don't need another.
2. Be Prepared to Face Your Fears
Overcoming hoarding is not always a simple task. You have to face your fears and stick to your plan of getting treatment to rid yourself of all useless belongings. During this process you may accidentally sell something that was of some worth or value. Just keep in mind that you can always buy a new and possibly better one. Stop worrying that you may discard something valuable, nothing bad will occur if you get rid of some of your belongings.
3. Stop Allowing Junk to Pile Up
Compulsive hoarding cannot be overcome in a few hours or few days, it is a continuous process. Once you have removed the existing mess in your abode, you also need to enforce measures to prevent the junk from piling up again. Be patient with this dilemma. and don't allow hoarding to overwhelm you again. Clean and organize your belongings on a consistent basis.
4. Get Help and Get Treatment
It is possible to overcome compulsive hoarding. Remember to be yourself. However, receiving some amount of treatment from a mental health practitioner who specializes in this sort of behavior will help you to reach your goal. A psychotherapist specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy can help you to better understand why you accumulate useless things. After a proper diagnosis they will be able help you get rid of all the clutter in your home, and help you to develop your decision making and relaxation skills. Above all a therapist will be supportive if you encounter any setbacks along the way.
5. Reach Out to Other People
Loneliness is one of the main factors that causes hoarding to occur, that's why it is never wise to confide yourself to your home. This will not aid you in overcoming hoarding.. If you are not comfortable inviting guests to your house because of the mess, make it a point to visit the homes of your relatives and friends.
These five tips for hoarders will greatly aid you to overcome hoarding, which segregates you from your loved ones. If you are knowledgeable that a loved one is a compulsive hoarder, don't quarrel with them as this will make them more stubborn in their ways. Instead be equipped to listen to them and converse with them about how this behavior is preventing them from reaching maximum quality of life.
- Q&A: Compulsive Hoarding
- Definition - Hoarding
- More Tips to Overcome Hoarding
- Types of Obsessive Compulsive Disorders
- Tutorial: Hoarding
- The International OCD Foundation Hoarding Center
- An Inside Look at What Hoarders Go Through
- Hoarding Treatment
- Compulsive Hoarding: What It Really Means
- Understanding the Levels of Hoarding
- Anxiety UK