Identifying and Treating Hoarding

inside of a hoarders house

Hoarding is a condition that affects 2-5% of the population to a point that it impacts their everyday lives. Hoarding is shown to be more common in people 55 years or older, in men, and more common in low income households. Hoarding is a progressive illness that usually starts to show in someone when they are younger. People who struggle with hoarding behaviors can have severe health issues, can have their children removed from their homes, can be evicted from their homes, and can even lose their job over their condition.

In order for people to get help with their hoarding disorder, they must admit that they are struggling with hoarding. Recently, intervention television shows have brought attention to hoarding disorders. These shows can help people recognize their condition but can also cause hoarders to compare themselves to extreme hoarding and feel that they are not that bad. The hoarding disorder can look different person to person. It is important for the person struggling with the hoarding disorder to realize how their disorder is affecting their life. Once they admit they have a problem, then the real work can start to help them heal and recover.

Treatment for hoarding disorder does not just mean cleaning out a house or removing the clutter. The underlying mental health issues also have to be addressed during treatment to help with long term recovery. There are many factors that can cause hoarding so it is important that a person struggling with this disorder seek mental health counseling with a qualified professional that has experience in treatment for hoarding disorders.

When meeting with a qualified professional, they will want to meet with the patient and his or her family to educate them all on the disease of hoarding. Psychoeducation is key for the family to learn about the disorder and understand that it is a disease. Along with family therapy, the patient will need continued cognitive behavioral therapy to help the patient deal with the underlying issues that resulted in the hoarding disorder. Ultimate success with hoarding disorder contains many factors working together but help is available for those who want to get their life back.