We’ve all heard of people who can’t seem to throw away any of their possessions and let them pile up to extreme levels. But this type of behavior shouldn’t be written off as due to mere messiness: Hoarding is a clinical disorder that affects 6-15 million Americans. In a recent Q&A, BeWell@Stanford spoke with Carolyn Rodriguez, MD, PhD, an expert on compulsive behaviors, about hoarding and what goes on behind the scenes. She says:

“A person with a hoarding disorder has extreme difficulty parting with possessions, so much so that the amount of clutter in their home limits the use of living spaces… The main way to distinguish “hoarding” from “collecting” is that collecting is a pleasurable activity, while individuals with hoarding disorder are distressed by it.”

She also goes on to discuss the causes for hoarding disorder, when it begins, and how it progresses over time and the hope that is out there for sufferers. You can view the full article below:


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