Signs of Hoarding Disorder and Their Solutions

Signs of Hoarding Disorder and Their Solutions

Hoarding disorder affects as much as 6% of American adults, though it is hard to say just how many people live with this condition. Hoarders are often unaware of their compulsions. They do not see how their actions impact their quality of life. With proper treatment, hoarders can learn how to manage their compulsions and create a healthy, stress-free environment. Here we will explore some of the common signs of hoarding disorder, along with tested and proven treatment plans.

Signs and Symptoms of Hoarding Disorder

Typically, a hoarder is not the one to notice the signs of hoarding. A friend or loved one will point out the symptoms. Common characteristics of hoarding disorder include:

  • A large amount of clutter in various locations (storage units, home, vehicles, etc.)
  • Limited mobility due to the clutter
  • Difficulty letting go of items (“I may need that one day,” “There’s nothing wrong with that,” “I can’t get rid of that just yet”)
  • Starting or planning projects without completing them
  • Compulsive shopping and overspending
  • The need to take free items when available, such as sugar packets at a restaurant
  • Social isolation, usually from embarrassment about the living conditions
  • Not having home repairs completed because of the state of the house
  • Losing money, important documents or valuable items in the clutter

Some people hide their hoards. For instance, the home may look clean but there are several storage units filled with hard-to-access objects. This makes the symptoms less noticeable, but behaviors like compulsive shopping and difficulty letting go of objects will still occur.

Hoarding vs. Collecting

What’s the difference between hoarding and collecting? Some hoarders start out as collectors, but their actions get out of hand. In general, a collector is usually someone who has their belongings on display in a clean, organized way. Collectors also have a focus for the kinds of items they collect. Hoarders are less specific with their tastes, and their objects are not on display.

How to Treat Hoarding Addiction

Hoarding addiction is best treated through evidence-based therapy. A therapist can help a hoarder understand his or her behaviors and the thought processes that contribute to them. Hoarding may be the result of trauma, depression, grief, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and many other underlying factors. A therapist can pinpoint these issues and find personalized solutions to address them.

We offer in-home hoarding addiction counseling in Illinois. We have multiple therapists who specialize in hoarding addiction treatment. With in-home counseling, you do not have to travel to your therapist. The therapist will come to you. This is an ideal setup for hoarding disorder treatment because it allows the therapist to get a full view of a person’s lifestyle and habits. You can work one-on-one with a licensed therapist near you, learning how to control hoarding symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.

For more information about in-home counseling for hoarding disorder, contact In-Home Counseling: (847) 903-5604.