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When possessions are poor substitutes for people: Hoarding & Loneliness

Loving Possessions

possessionsChildren’s possessions are very important during the early stages of life. They allow children to feel a sense of comfort when their parents aren’t nearby. For most people as they get older they have less reliance on these possessions. Rather than relying on possessions for comfort they tend to have a smaller collection which is displayed proudly on a shelf or stored away.

For some people though, this is not enough. They rely on possessions in a similar way to children, by holding on to them for long periods of time and placing sentimental value on them. In particular, they can have trouble with:

  • difficulty discarding items regardless of their actual value
  • a perceived need to save the items and associated distress at the idea of losing them
  • clutter that prevents the home being used for its intended purpose.

Hoarding can also be linked to loneliness in some cases due to the negative impact that this can have on humans.

The loneliness effect

If children regularly use objects for comfort during times of need, why doesn’t everyone have a hoarding problem? We think it is because some people are more prone to anthropomorphism. Anthropomorphism is when an object is perceived to have human-like qualities.

Humans need to be connected physically, socially, and psychologically to other humans. This need is just as important as the need for air, water, food, and shelter. Loneliness negatively affects our health and is a risk factor for early death. Understandably, when we feel devalued or unloved, we seek out closeness. When our need isn’t met by humans, objects may serve as a substitute.

Read on to find out more about the effect of loneliness and how this can link to hoarding.

 

Remember, if you or someone you know is suffering from hoarding, you can contact us at www.facebook.com/CloudsEndCIC for help.

To read more stories like this one, why not take a look at some of our other blog articles here.

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