For many, a collection of things can quickly turn into an overwhelming pile of stuff that can impede on one’s ability to live a thriving and productive life. While some may see collecting a massive amount of belongings around the home as simply a quirky characteristic, there may be a more serious mental health issue at hand: a Hoarding Disorder.
Once relegated to a sub point under Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the act of hoarding has since taken its own designation as a diagnosable mental disorder. This designation of hoarding as a mental disorder allows health professionals to work more closely with individuals struggling with hoarding in ways that are more unique and specific to their needs.
One of the best ways to serve and bring hope to those suffering from a Hoarding Disorder is to understand the dangers involved. By gaining a deeper knowledge of the dangers of a Hoarding Disorder, individuals and loved ones can make better-informed decisions as to treatment.
The Dangers To The Hoarder
At its most basic, someone who is suffering from a Hoarding Disorder is dealing with a behavior as a coping mechanism. The act of hoarding items that others may consider useless allows the hoarder to cope with an underlying mental health issue. This is why simply “cleaning up the mess” is not a long-term solution to hoarding.
Hoarding is truly dangerous for the hoarder in that the behavior is known as “maladaptive” – meaning that the coping mechanism of hoarding doesn’t solve the underlying issue. Rather, the more the hoarder collects, the worse the situation becomes.
Without proper methods to handle and manage the underlying issues, a hoarder will continue to collect articles at an ever-increasing rate. This can lead to a deterioration of one’s personal living space, making it difficult to navigate the home as the hoard of clutter grows. Not only will the living space turn into a squalor situation, but the added stress of the hoarding will often lead individuals to withdraw from family, friends, and other members of their support team. As a hoarder continues to see their living space and support system deteriorate, they will see their physical, mental, and emotional state become increasingly fragile. This reality of difficulty for a hoarder is why allowing a hoarding disorder to go undiagnosed and untreated can quickly go from bad to worse.
Why Hoarding Is Bad For Others
However, the negatives of a Hoarding Disorder are also there for those involved in the life of a hoarding. Family members who live with a hoarder may find their living conditions continue to deteriorate outside of their control, and may force them into a chaotic situation of living conditions, financial problems, and emotional difficulties. As hoarding continues to occur, those around the hoarder may have to choose between their well-being and the health of their loved one.
Treating Hoarding With Holistic Help
Those suffering from a Hoarding Disorder often find themselves facing a hopeless situation. Fortunately, as more research is completed in the area of Hoarding Disorder treatment, new methods for the management and treatment of HD are becoming available.
At My Inclusion, our team of licensed therapists have years of experience working with individuals suffering from HD, as well as those who are suffering along with them. If you or a loved one is concerned about a possible Hoarding Disorder, the team at My Inclusion is ready to help you start on the path toward healing. There is hope available for those suffering from HD. Contact our team today to learn more.