What is Hoarding?

Hoarding is a symptom of obsessive compulsive disorder. The reasons for this are very diverse and vary depending on geography and upbringing. This is epitomized by accumulation and amassment of things that are of little or no value. This does not necessarily have any sentimental or emotional attachment to the individual. They have the phobia of need arising from the loss of the item. What happens is they live in clutter which may become hazardous to their health.

Why Do People Horde?
Obsessive compulsive disorder is brought about by a number of issues. One of them is the lack of executive skills. This means the individual has problems in thinking, planning and doing things. This makes them helpless where they have to think, plan and execute disposal of possessions that are not relevant. They have a hard time putting things in order of importance and would rather have them all.

Another common issue is beliefs. The individual harbors untrue, unfounded and unhealthy beliefs on possessions. This is common where the person thinks that all their possessions have some sort of intrinsic value and can never be fully written off. Moreover, they tend to hold them as mental milestones in their lives or significant attachment. They also have the fear of losing something that may have antique value in the future.

Emotional barriers are also a contributing factor. Depression is a common symptom with most hoarders. Thus, they have these objects constantly surrounding them in an attempt to feel safe. This makes them have strong attachments to specific things they have personified, making them prone to avoidance and defensive tactics. The main cause of this is because of upbringing, where the individual has had emotional gaps and has learnt to substitute their needs with physical things. This makes it difficult to give out or discard the items in place.

Hoarding can be treated through psychotherapy. This method of treatment allows one to deal with behavior and emotions to combat the disorder. Like any other symptom of obsessive compulsive disorder, it is easily treated with Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). This therapy consists of behavior therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Positivity is the key in this therapy; it helps reduce instances of breakdowns which trigger cognitive dissociation which brings the manifestation of the disorder.

Compulsive hoarding can be treated by using anti-depressants that are either prescribed or readily found in local pharmacies. They include drugs like Tricyclic antidepressant family, fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), and sertraline (Zoloft) just to mention a few. Although they do not completely cure, they help in mitigation of hording as a symptom.

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