Hoarding Disorder

Hoarding Disorder is a condition closely related to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), where people experience persistent difficulty discarding of possessions and excessively acquire new items. Discarding of items can cause significant distress, whilst the urge to acquire items can be overwhelming. Overall, Hoarding Disorder can have a significant impact on daily functioning and quality of life.

Symptoms of Hoarding Disorder include:

  • excessively acquiring items even though they may not be needed or there may be no space for them
  • persistent difficulty and distress in discarding of items regardless of actual value
  • a build up of clutter where spaces, furniture or whole rooms may become completely unusable
  • difficulties with indecisiveness, perfectionism, avoidance, procrastination, problem-solving, planning and organising.

For those with Hoarding Disorder, you may feel compelled to save and acquire new items due to:

  • feeling that these items are unique and have a functional value; they need to be saved for possible future use
  • the items have important sentimental and emotional value; they serve as a reminder of something or represent something important
  • it feels safer to be surrounded by these items
  • you don’t want to waste anything

Whilst it is normal to be interested in collecting things, or of possessing items that have a functional or emotional significance, for people with Hoarding Disorder it causes significant distress and impacts upon their relationships and daily functioning. In some cases, hoarding may even pose physical health or fire risks.

Hoarding Disorder is associated with a number of mental health disorders including:

Treatment for Hoarding Disorder

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is evidenced to be an effective treatment for Hoarding Disorder, and a component of this work may require involving family and carers to support you to implement your new learnings and skills. Therapy may in part also need to be conducted within your home in order to apply it directly to your affected environment.

We’re here to help. If you would like to know more about treatment for Hoarding Disorder at the Fitzrovia Psychology Clinic, please contact us to arrange an assessment.