The Mayo Clinic defines hoarding as the excessive collection of items, along with the inability to discard them. Hoarding often creates such cramped living conditions that homes may be filled to capacity, with only narrow pathways winding through stacks of clutter. Some people also collect animals, keeping dozens or hundreds of pets often in unsanitary conditions.
Hoarding, also called compulsive hoarding and compulsive hoarding syndrome, may be a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). But many people who hoard don’t have other OCD-related symptoms.
People who hoard often don’t see it as a problem, making treatment challenging. But intensive treatment can help people who hoard understand their compulsions and live safer, more enjoyable lives.
- Mayo Clinic Definition of Hoarding http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hoarding/DS00966
- Charlotte’s Southeast Psych blog post “Hoarding: The First Steps to Recovery”
- Institue for Challenging Disorganizaton Clutter-Hoarding Scale
- Children of Hoarders Blog http://hoardingmemory.wordpress.com/2011/05/12/children-of-hoarders/
- Charlotte Anxiety Consortium www.charlotte-anxiety.org
- International OCD Foundation http://www.ocfoundation.org/hoarding