Many of us might believe that hoarding is a problem that only happens on TV. Some people may never consider that their friend could be a hoarder. Thanks to reality shows, the disorder is seen as a problem that afflicts only recluses or peculiar old people, whose hoarding habits escalate to the point where they become life-or-death issues.
In the real world, however, hoarding isn’t a disorder that can only happen to “certain” people, and it isn’t a disorder that is always “obvious.” Though anyone can become a hoarder, the Anxiety And Depression Association Of America notes that it is typically seen among people already struggling with obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or depression.
The range of those disorders might give you an insight into how tricky hoarding is to treat, because it’s not a uniform behaviour in response to a uniform problem.
People hoard for many different reasons:
- To stop their anxiety or to feel safe.
- They feel like it helps them avoid catastrophe.
- It helps them cope with negative feelings.
Basically, hoarding is not as simple as you might think it is.
If you do have a friend who you think may be at risk of hoarding, know that getting them help is not about just urging them to them clean their house. People dealing with hoarding have to treat their underlying mental health issues, not just tidy up.
And if you are helping a friend work through their problems with hoarding, make sure you get the help you need to support yourself through the process, too. If somebody close to you (or somebody with whom you share living space) has issues with hoarding, things are likely going to be fraught (or, at the very least, complicated), and it may be too much to handle on your own.
Click here to find out the seven signs of hoarding behaviour that should definitely make you pay attention:
Remember, if you or someone you know is suffering from hoarding, you can contact us at www.facebook.com/CloudsEndCIC for help.