According to the Mayo Clinic hoarding also known as compulsive hoarding syndrome is the excessive collection of items, living or un-living, along with the inability to discard them. There are many symptoms of hoarding; the main being the inability to throw away items. Other symptoms include cluttered living space, keeping stacks of newspapers, magazines or junk mail, acquiring unneeded or seemingly useless items such as trash, and difficulty organizing items or managing daily activities (Mayo Clinic).
Hoarders often tend to be perfectionist, have limited to no social interaction, and have excessive attachment to their possessions. There has been some discussion among researchers that perhaps hoarding is not actually a form of OCD, but rather a clinically distinct syndrome that is part of the OC spectrum of disorders can create cramped unsanitary living conditions that can take it toll on ones physical and emotional health. The effects of hoarding are safety, health, and social interaction. Safety
Hoarding can be a major safety issue to the hoarder and the people around them. If the hoarder becomes sick, EMS can have trouble getting to him or her due to the clutter; therefore, he or she may not receive the emergency treatment he or she needs. Hoarding can also present a public health and safety risk. Hoarders have an abundance of trash, newspaper and other paper material in their homes increasing their risks of house fires. A hoarder stacks boxes on top of each other and newspapers high as the ceiling it could fall on him or her. Health
Hoarding also causes health problems. Hoarder’s can become really ill from dust because they can’t get to every piece of furniture or counter tops. Accumulated dust grows and makes the hoarder have headaches and breathing problems. The hoarder can develop respiratory problems, allergies and possibly even die. Some hoarders are very poor on hygiene because they cannot take a bath due to the clutter in their tub; also their eating habits are very poor. They become dehydrated, weak and skinny because their stove is covered with trash and newspapers.
Social Interaction Hoarders’ social life is very lonely because they are embarrassed of their living space. They do date, but they never let anyone come to their home; the hoarders who are in a relationship or married don’t stay with them long because significant others cannot handle the hoarders’ living arrangements. The hoarder also becomes so attach to their belongings and would rather stay in their home and not worry about the outside world. They prefer not to have family come over, so they don’t have to hear negative energy about their living arrangements.
In conclusion, hoarding can take a toll on someone’s safety, health and social life. Most people could not ever imagine living in those conditions. But who are they to judge someone? There is treatment for hoarding. According to Mayo Clinic hoarders have to trust their doctors to be treated. Hoarder’s safety is always at risk for a fire and he or she health is also in risk from getting breathing problems; their social life is lonely he or she then turns to his or her possessions. Research is still being done on hoarding (OCD) to see if it genetic.