2019 And Compulsive Hoarding Continues To Go Un-noticed
It’s the new year, yet, big piles of possession still remain in homes, as owners hold on with sentimental inclinations and a fleeting hope that their hoards will spark a certain joy within. For people suffering from compulsive hoarding, investigating their relationships with old objects is important; as it helps them confront the overwhelming abundance they face, and sets them on their way to decluttering their lives and taking back control of their everyday lives.
Compulsive hoarding disorder is classified as a serious mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association, and sufferers find that the clutters they amass in their homes affect their job, social life, family relationship, and even personal safety.
According to research estimates, about 2 to 5% of the world population suffers from compulsive hoarding disorder. These people find it extremely hard to part with possessions, irrespective of their value, causing an extreme cluttering of their homes. This makes furniture and living area unusable, creates a mess that interferes with safety, and hinders daily functioning.
When and Why Hoarding Begins
Hoarding begins with the normal clutter. From having stacks of mails on the kitchen counter or a littered and untidy bedroom closet, to storing boxes in the oven! The path to compulsive hoarding begins when you graduate from using the conventional storage areas like closets, and begin filling your dining room and bathtub with boxes.
Oftentimes, hoarding is set off by a tragic event or major loss. Traumatic events, divorce, or death of a family member can trigger hoarding. Compulsive hoarders believe the hoarded stuffs cannot die and are a representative of what they’ve lost, and so tend to get emotionally attached to these items and the memories they represent. Thus, they never want to discard such items, as tossing them away amounts to disrespecting the item and the person or event connected to it.
Serious Consequences for Hoarders
More often than not, compulsive hoarders have good intentions, but always fail to follow through. They have the best intentions of getting ready to get things done, but never really get to doing it. Filling up the house with items however make for numerous health hazards, and hoarders put themselves in a position to suffer serious consequences.
Molds and fires are problems. Falling or tripping over piles of junk while walking around in the house can result in injuries and sometimes, fatality. Also, in a case of emergency, getting in and around the house becomes a problem for the hoarder and emergency personnel. Apart from this, hoarding strains family ties, as most hoarders are often left all alone in their cluttered homes. Only the hoarder sees the hoarded items’ appeal.
Tidying Up: The Enabling Magic
Tidying up improves the hoarder’s relationships, and their general functioning in the society. By decluttering, the missing organization and control returns; while the indecisiveness, procrastination, disorganization, and distraction that accompany compulsive hoarding are eliminated. Apart from this, the social isolation that comes with a cluttered home is also removed.