Is Hoarding a Disease?

We have all recently become more aware of the disorder known as “hoarding,” (also called disposophobia).  Raised awareness can be attributed to open discussion by and of its victims, to radio discourse and to television shows that responsibly address the topic.  As with any disease or disorder, the freedom to engage in productive and constructive dialogue not only enables those who suffer with the problem a necessary means of therapy, but also offers loved-ones a means to heal .

While hoarding is not as of yet classified as an independent disorder  in the DSM (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual), psychiatrists, psychologists and neurologists are getting closer to clearly identifying the condition.  We do not yet know with certainty whether hoarding exists on its own or is a sub-condition of obsessive-compulsive disorder or impulse-control disorder .  While it is behaviorally related to both, patients often show more or less features of one or the other.  If you feel you know anyone who exhibits any of the symptoms associated with any of these serious conditions, you should consult the appropriate physician to best determine your loved-one’s best interests.

What Are The Behavioral Features Of Hoarding?

In 1996, Doctors Frost and Hartl delineated the following behavioral traits of hoarders:

  • The acquisition of and failure to discard of a large number of possessions that appear to be useless or of limited value
  • Living spaces sufficiently cluttered so as to preclude activities for which those spaces were designed
  • Significant distress or impairment in functioning caused by the hoarding
  • Reluctance or inability to return borrowed items; as boundaries blur, impulsive acquisitiveness could sometimes lead to stealing or kleptomania

The Immediate Dangers Of Hoarding:  What You Can Do To Help.

When confronted with someone who appears to display symptoms of hoarding, it is clear that they are potentially a danger  to themselves…and possibly others.  Because they accumulate objects, they pose a fire danger.
For instance, one subtype is called “book hoarding” or bibliomania.  Bibliomania is characterized by one who collects books to the point where both social relations and health are threatened.  The disarray of old books becomes a danger to the hoarder, both because of their threat to physically fall on the sufferer or due to the eventual possibility that they become kindling.

Indeed, anyone who suffers from hoarding is a danger to his or herself.  The threat of physical injury or diseases associated with vermin is a legitimate cause for concern and a call to action.

Accutech In Bradenton and Sarasota:   Discreet, Sensitive Cleaning And Restoration Services For Those You Love

Accutech Restoration and Remodeling understands that hoarding is a condition which demands compassion and a delicate touch.  You can count on us to help restore order and safety to the life of the one you love.  Along with the guidance of a well-trained professional, the IICRC-certified experts at Accutech have been trained in both the most up-to-date cleaning methods as well as in industry ethical standards.  We take this very seriously at Accutech.  For a discreet, compassionate and professional partner in your loved-one’s recovery, turn to Accutech in Bradenton or Sarasota.