Hoarders are taking new steps to confront clutter, through the use of virtual reality. In this article provided by Motherboard, they simulate hoarding in VR to see how it affects them. They said:
How would you feel standing in a cramped room surrounded by garbage, newspapers, and random camping equipment? Turns out, even when this mess is simulated in virtual reality, it’s pretty stressful. I know this because I recently participated in a VR study of hoarders, who are using the technology to confront their disorders.
Researchers out of Ryerson University in Toronto are conducting a study to test the different factors that relate to hoarding, putting test subjects through a series of virtual reality experiments in which they confront hoards of stuff while the researchers measure their stress response. They’re finding that even self-identified hoarders don’t like being around too much clutter.
1 in 50
Hoarding, which is estimated to affect 1 in 50 people, is still poorly understood. It was previously considered a facet of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Hanna McCabe-Bennett, the lead researcher who’s doing the study as part of her dissertation in clinical psychology, told me, but as of 2013 is recognized as something distinct: Hoarding Disorder.
According to the International OCD Foundation, people with Hoarding Disorder collect items to the point where it causes them personal distress. Having that much stuff in your house, especially if it’s garbage or old food, can pose serious health risks. It can block air vents or exits in the event of an emergency.
There aren’t many existing treatments right now other than psychotherapy, where the hoarder discusses the root and challenges of their disorder. And there’s still a lot of stigma attached to it, which prevents people from seeking help.
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Remember, if you or someone you know is suffering from hoarding, you can contact us at www.facebook.com/CloudsEndCIC for help.
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