Hoarding is a sickness. It is a mental disorder. Hoarding is every bit as addicting as alcoholism. The hoarder cannot help it, and the hoarder normally cannot recover or get better without serious professional help and a support group that understands.
Just like there are many factors that drive someone to drink alcohol, there can be a multiple of factors that drives someone to hoard. Sometimes hoarders attach themselves to objects because those objects remind them of loved ones or friends.
In other situations, factors such as anxiety or fear can lead to hoarding.
Hoarding normally starts in one room, such as a closet or spare bedroom. Other times it can start in an automobile trunk or a corner of a basement. The hoarder will start stockpiling things in one area.
After that area becomes to cluttered to handle any more stuff, then the hoarder usually either spreads out from that area or starts a whole other area in which to hoard.
Hoarders also hoard a variety of items. These can range from new items that are purchased to items picked up out of the garbage or even off the side of the road.
Like alcoholics, hoarders always have good intentions and don’t fully understand how bad they are hurting themselves and those around them. They don’t realize the full extent of their actions and how they are causing danger for not only themselves, but for those who must come in contact with them in the area that they are hoarding.
Some of the dangers of hoarding include an unsanitary environment. Since it is virtually impossible to clean up, around, in, and under piles and mounds of stuff, things like mold, mildew and dust build up – not to mention rodents and insects as well.
Also, the area around mounds of hoarded items can be very dangerous. Hoarders and those they live with are often injured in their homes due to slips and falls because of all the clutter blocking doorways and pathways.
If you know someone who is a hoarder, the best thing that you can do is to confront them in the same way that you would confront an alcoholic — firmly, and in a friendly environment.
It is best that this is done in a group setting so that more people can interject their concerns and offer help. Just like an alcoholic, a hoarder must first come to the realization that they indeed do have a problem before they can be on the road to recovery.
Also, it could be that just like an alcoholic is really never totally free of alcoholism, a hoarder is always prone to revert back into their hoarding state.
The ‘Obsessive Compulsion Foundation’ (which is a not-for-profit organization) claim that hoarders even have an abnormally function brain and that hoarders are not lazy, but suffer from a real mental sickness.
If you are a hoarder, get help. If you know someone who hoards, confront them in a group setting with compassion, understanding, and love.
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