Does watching “Hoarding: Buried Alive” intrigue you? Do you ever wonder why someone would live in uninhabitable conditions? What causes hoarding?
As an LPC-Intern, I continue to learn about diagnoses to extend my clinical knowledge. One of the specialty areas that I have chosen to improve upon is: compulsive hoarding. I have watched numerous episodes of “Hoarders” and imagined how I would counsel someone in that situation.
I did not know much about hoarding, except for what was shown on TV. The conclusions I came to, based off of the TV show, was two things: 1. Children of parents that experienced the Great Depression era are easily susceptible to hoarding and/or 2. Individuals that experienced a great loss and used hoarding as a way to preserve. So, to expand my knowledge, I decided to dig up a few more interesting facts regarding this topic.
Below are 10 interesting points that Psychcentral.com has listed regarding compulsive hoarding habits:
1. Roughly 700,000 to 1.4 million individuals are affected by compulsive hoarding.
2. Compulsive hoarding is a variation of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD); 18-42% of individuals with OCD experience some compulsive hoarding.
3. A region on Chromosome 14 has been suggested to be linked to compulsive hoarding behavior. That means, compulsive hoarding may run in families.
4. Compulsive hoarding may start as early as childhood-teen years. However, the hoarding usually does not get identified until adulthood.
5. Contrary to popular belief, hoarding is not about saving or collecting. Hoarding is more connected to the fear of throwing something away.
6. Hoarders = Perfectionists. Not all, but many, fear making the wrong decisions.
7. Compulsive hoarding may be accompanied by another mental health diagnosis: depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc.
8. Me? I have a problem? Usually the individual that hoards does not recognize a problem until family/friends address the issue.
9. Controlling compulsive hoarding may be difficult. Many times hoarding is treated like OCD, but the response is not always successful.
10. A therapy technique, known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) may be more effective in treating hoarding than medications. A consistent behavioral program can assist the individual in his/her beliefs regarding the clutter.
Now that we have discussed hoarding factoids, it is time for some deep cleaning…