Is Hoarding a Mental Issue?
You walk into someone’s house and notice that there’s clutter everywhere you look. You can barely make it to the bathroom due to all the junk lying around on the floor.
The garage is even worse, reduced to a state where even a bike can’t be placed inside. And what about the basement? There’s no way for you to go downstairs without risking injury to yourself.
The fact that some residents let their homes develop into these conditions may leave you wondering, is hoarding a mental issue? Hoarding definitions aren’t varied since the condition that describes it tends to be the same.
Hoarding is the accumulation of items that one deems important, to the point where it becomes so great that it makes ordinary living or working in a location difficult to do.
This is the same as hoarding disorder, a mental disorder that can be diagnosed by a psychiatrist. People who hoard tend to place a value on futile things, either by attaching them to good memories in their life or for their sentimental value. So a box filled with junk might be pointless to keep for the non-harder but have tons of value to someone that used the box at some valued time in their life.
Hoarders may also keep items thinking that they’ll be used again at some point, even if what’s being kept is almost empty.
A box of cleaning supplies, for example, could be kept by a hoarder, where some of the bottles are almost empty. The hoarder may hold on to them with the excuse that nothing has been emptied yet. After a while, they may even forget about it and buy more cleaning supplies.
Speaking of which, it can be incredibly difficult to clean a hoarder’s home. Even while they may think that all is tidy, there could be lots of filth hidden underneath all the items that haven’t been touched.
Why is Hoarding Unhealthy?
Have you ever looked underneath someone’s couch that hasn’t been cleaned for a while? You’re likely to find all kinds of residue and grime. This accumulation can lead to high levels of bacteria and fungal spores, which eventually make their way into the air that you breathe.
For these reasons and more, hoarding can be extremely unhealthy. People with hoarding disorder might think that their home is tidier than it is, though they tend to focus on the areas where they’re able to move around.
When all the accumulation is removed, they’re often surprised to see hazardous conditions that were hidden from them. Cockroach infestations are one of the worst and most commonly found. Roadchdes love areas that are filled with clutter and stay dark for long periods.
A hoarder’s home is the perfect place for an infestation to flourish. Remember, cockroaches can eat things like magazines, book bindings, and grime that build up from a failure to keep things clean. So even if a hoarder has a clean kitchen and bathroom, the cockroaches can still manage without being seen in that two areas. When is hoarding a mental issue? It occurs when hoarding cannot be managed, prevent or treat it. Identifying the early symptoms and asking for early help can prevent it
Common Hoarding Symptoms
Hoarding symptoms are easy to distinguish. It doesn’t involve the typical garage that hasn’t been cleaned in a while. Hoarding is more extreme. Here are some of the symptoms you should look out for:
- Keeping items that aren’t needed – Again, it’s normal for many people to hold on to things that aren’t being used. However, a hoarder does this excessively, acquiring pieces that they never use and don’t have adequate space for. Once the space becomes minimized to the point of interfering with their ability to live normally, a hoarding disorder can be diagnosed.
- Inability to throw things away – A hoarder has difficulty throwing things away. Some may even become upset when others are concerned about their health and attempts to clean their home for them. The items they keep may have any value at all. Your average hoarder isn’t holding on to textbooks, comics, or photo albums. Instead, you’ll find heaps of trash that haven’t been taken out, clothing that’s never worn, and even food that’s never been touched since it was purchased. Hoarders sometimes, buy loads of non-perishable items, thinking they’ll eat them eventually but never doing so, even years after being bought.
- Depression when discarding items – Hoarders may become angry when the things they keep are forcibly thrown out. It could even lead to depression since they attach themselves to too much of what they hoard.
- Severe clutter – Go into an extreme hoarder’s home and you’re going to find entirely inaccessible rooms. The conditions can become so severe that they create a risk of injury due to falling objects.
- The issue with the organization – Hoarders usually cannot plan very well, even in their day-to-day activities outside of the home. They may procrastinate often and tend avoidance, where they won’t allow others to view their living conditions.
As shown, compulsive hoarding is a serious problem for the health and well-being of people that live in these conditions. When children are involved, they often show sickness.
Hoarding may also lead to persistent food poisoning since the insect that thrives in hearing conditions are the kind that easily spread salmonella. Asthma is another problem. The debris that collects in the crevices that haven’t been cleaned in so long can make its way into the lungs, leading to sinus issues.
In severe cases, some may even require the use of an inhaler. All of these problems are caused by accumulation. It might seem like a simple thing to fix for the average person, but not for hoarders.
If hoarding is left unchecked, the conditions can make a home entirely uninhabitable, where social services must come and removes the residents from the unit. This is usually done when hoarding takes place in a home where there are children present. Is hoarding a mental issue? A hoarding specialist can help detect early signs of hoarding and prevent it.
When to Call a Hoarding Specialist
When is hoarding a mental issue? Does it have to be severe for one to receive help in cleaning things up? Having answered these questions previously, know that there’s always help available for mild or severe hoarders.
Hoarding cleanup doesn’t have to be done alone. Companies like Clutter Trucker can remove all the junk for you. Even if you’re not a severe hoarder and simply haven’t had time to clean out the garage or rooms in your home, they’ll happily get rid of anything you want. Call them right now and breathe easy again after all the mess is taken from your residence.