Hoarding disorder

A hoarding disorder is where someone acquires an excessive number of items and stores them in a chaotic manner, usually resulting in unmanageable amounts of clutter. The items can be of little or no monetary value.Hoarding is considered a significant problem if:

  • the amount of clutter interferes with everyday living – for example, the person is unable to use their kitchen or bathroom and cannot access rooms
  • the clutter is causing significant distress or negatively affecting the quality of life of the person or their family – for example, they become upset if someone tries to clear the clutter and their relationship suffers

Hoarding disorders are challenging to treat because many people who hoard frequently do not see it as a problem, or have little awareness of how it’s affecting their life or the lives of others.

Many do realise they have a problem but are reluctant to seek help because they feel extremely ashamed, humiliated or guilty about it.

It’s really important to encourage a person who is hoarding to seek help, as their difficulties discarding objects can not only cause loneliness and mental health problems but also pose a health and safety risk.

If not tackled, it’s a problem that will probably never go away.

For further information about symptoms and treatment, please visit the NHS website that this page has been taken from, click here