Hoarding behaviors are characterized by a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions; this usually arises due to a perceived need to keep them. An individual may get overly distressed at the thought of getting rid of certain items, and this can lead to a large amount of items becoming accumulated. Hoarding can be associated with other mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, OCD, and ADHD.

What are the symptoms of a hoarding disorder?

  • Acquisition and maintenance of items that may not be needed or for which space is limited
  • Persistent trouble parting with items, even if they have little to no value
  • Desire to save items and being upset at the thought of getting rid of them 
  • Clutter build-up to the point where rooms begin to lose function 
  • Tending to be indecisive, perfectionistic, and avoidant 

Why do people with hoarding disorder typically save items?

  • Believe the items have are unique or will be needed at some point in the future 
  • Items may have important emotional significance --- may be a reminder of happier times or represent people or pets 
  • Feel a sense of safety when surrounded by things they save

How can hoarding disorders be treated?

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
    • Identify and challenge thoughts and beliefs related to acquiring and saving items 
    • Learn to categorize possessions in order to decide which ones to throw away 
    • Learn to reduce isolation and increase social involvement with other meaningful activities

Here at Madrigal, we are committed to addressing hoarding disorders in a holistic manner.

*This information was adapted from the Mayo Clinic. Click here to learn more information.*