Rise of Hoarding
The rise of hoarding is something we need to find the cause of because it is a growing issue. Certainly TV doesn’t need to do much to sensationalise hoarding. Like rubberneckers at a traffic accident, we gaze in horror at “goat paths” hacked between mounds of newspapers, greasy pizza cartons, bills, cheques, mustard packets, broken gadgets, old T-shirts, and stained Tupperware. Crawling with rodents and cockroaches, covered in mildew, mould, and bacteria, these mounds are a fire hazard (according to one study, they cause 24 percent of all avoidable fire deaths) and a fall hazard. They build a wall of shame that blocks the entry of family, friends, even a plumber or electrician. How can people live like this we wonder?
The First Understanding of Hoarding
But many hoarders don’t see their behaviour as disordered, and psychology didn’t either—at first. In 2013, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the holy book of psychiatric diagnoses, was revised to list severe hoarding as a disorder in its own right. To meet the diagnostic criteria, someone must have acquired an unmanageable, even hazardous number of possessions. These would appear to be useless or of limited value—yet would cause them severe distress if discarded.
The original understanding of hoarding, however, had nothing to do with clutter; it was financial avarice. King Midas hoarded gold, as did the tight-fisted clergy who, Dante wrote, would be condemned to the fourth circle of hell. Only in the twentieth century did people begin engaging in the eccentric over-accumulation of random, not terribly valuable stuff.
Read on to find out more about what the causes are for the rise of hoarding.
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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