We sometimes wonder whether we have a medical condition after watching a television program about it. That’s a possibility with hoarding disorder, given that over three million British people have it to some extent.
We have been receiving regular enquiries since the NHS admitted the condition existed in 2013. We decided to write a post summarizing the symptoms. These include being secretive about our homes according to Mail Online.
What the NHS Decided Back in 2013
The NHS defines hoarding behaviour as a persistent difficulty with parting with possessions, or discarding them. All of us have these feelings about reassuring mementos of our past.
There’s a boundary line between sentimental shoe boxing, and compulsive hoarding running out of control. Beyond that point, a compulsive hoarder’s home gradually becomes so cluttered some rooms are impossible to live in.
When Hoarding Becomes a Medical Condition
Volunteer organizations like Rainbow Red are helping concerned people spot signs of hoarding in their relatives. There is almost never an outright cure although thoughtful therapy can help improve the quality of their lives. Let’s turn this around and see it from a hoarder’s point of view.
Rainbow Red’s Telling Signs to Watch For:
1… They find it difficult to stop bringing things into their home
2… Possessions are filling rooms and preventing normal use
3… They notice their electrical equipment is not working properly
4… Change worries them. The thought of it makes them anxious
5… Family and friends are beginning to interfere and make decisions for them
6… They can’t decide what to do about the situation they are in
7… They become secretive; they retire into their own private world
What to Do If You Start Ticking All Those Boxes
You don’t want to be caught in a situation like that, and end up in a care home where other people make decisions for you. Talk to your NHS doctor about this. They will know what to do, and you get National Health care if you don’t want to go private.
Hoarding Disorder is Not Only for Seniors
Hoarding can be a sign of deep depression after losing a life mate in old age. However the condition can also have roots in our teens. Doctors are not sure why this is so. They think the origins may be in our genes, or perhaps we have a parent who is a hoarding role model.
Hoarding disorder is not a symptom of old age. That said, seniors are three times more likely to start hoarding than younger people.
Is Compulsive Hoarding a Brain Disorder Then?
No, it’s definitely not that. Hoarders simply process information differently. Having to make decisions about what to discard makes them emotional. Some of them may have experienced severe emotional trauma when they were young, and they mask this by becoming attached to objects.
If you tick some of those boxes we encourage you to take courage. It’s quite okay to be different. However, you may need support to cope with changes you are passing through.