Being a compulsive hoarder is not the same as being messy. Knowing the signs could help you make a big difference in somebody’s life.
You may not notice the signs of compulsive hoarding right away. That’s because most people don’t realize someone they know is struggling with hoarding until things spiral out of control.
Most people simply assume that hoarders lack the desire to get organized.
But hoarding is a serious mental health issue that impacts millions of people each year.
Compulsive hoarding is a condition in which people have difficulty discarding items that they don’t really need. It’s often associated with anxiety and depression, but it is its own disorder.
It may be triggered by environmental factors like extreme trauma, a difficult loss, or a family history of hoarding behavior.
Compulsive hoarders tend to accumulate large quantities of items that are often worthless or even dangerous to them, such as trash and rotting food.
They keep these things around for years because they fear what could happen if they need something but don’t have it. Or they may believe their belongings will be useful in the future.
In some cases, hoarders become attached to their things because it gives them a sense of security or closeness to a happier time.
If you suspect someone you know is struggling with hoarding disorder, don’t try to handle it by yourself. Get help from a professional hoarding cleaning company.
Having trouble getting rid of items is the most common sign of compulsive hoarding.
But there are many other factors you need to consider as well.
Common Symptoms of Hoarding
As with any mental illness, the signs of compulsive hoarding can be somewhat subjective. One person’s “junk” is another person’s treasured possession. But there are some commonalities among hoarders that make it easier to identify and address the situation.
Trouble getting rid of items
Hoarders experience extreme distress when throwing things away. This phenomenon, known as disposophobia, can occur for a variety of reasons. Usually, hoarders are so attached to their belongings that their reaction to discarding them can be quite extreme.
Distrust for others that leads them to live in isolation.
It’s not uncommon for hoarders to live in isolation. They often don’t trust others to help them, and may be afraid of being judged or embarrassed if their hoarding is made public.
Keeping stacks of items that block entrances to rooms or areas.
Many hoarders will cling to their belongings and collect things to the point that their home becomes unsafe. Clutter is a fire hazard. It can even prevent emergency services from entering the home if anyone is in need of rescue or medical treatment.
The accumulation of food or trash inside the home.
Everyone is different, but many hoarders will hold onto food well past its expiration date. Some may even allow trash to pile up. Food may attract pests, such as rodents, bed bugs, and cockroaches. The trash itself can become a serious threat to your health.
Accumulating animals in the home and failing to provide adequate care for them, such as grooming or vet visits
A compulsive hoarder who also keeps animals in their home is likely to have a very difficult time providing adequate care for them.
In many cases, the animal hoarder’s attachment to her pets can lead her to take on more than they can handle. As a result, the animals may suffer because they aren’t getting the attention they need and deserve.
Animal hoarding can cause serious legal issues as well, such as health code violations and neglect charges against the hoarder if authorities are called in to investigate.
Professional Help for Hoarders
If you want to help a hoarder clean up their home, the first step is to seek help from a professional. You need to work with someone experienced who can help address the compulsive hoarding behaviors and their underlying causes.
Although your biggest concern may be cleaning up the home as quickly as possible, helping a hoarder clean is not always that simple.
Hoarders need a lot of time and patience so they can learn healthier habits and lead normal lives. You need to be prepared with the right resources to help them long-term.
When you work with a hoarding cleaning company like Hoarders911, you get the help of highly trained experts who understand exactly what you’re dealing with.
We can help you identify the signs of compulsive hoarding and develop a personalized action plan to help your loved one recover. Our innovative 7-Step Process makes us a one-stop shop for all your hoarding cleaning needs.
If you’re concerned that someone that you know may be struggling with a hoarding disorder, get help from a professional right away.
We will make sure everyone stays safe as you work towards a healthier future.
Call today for a no-obligation consultation: 718 627 5781
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