National Hoarding Awareness Week
Published on 16 May 2023 09:24 AM
We are supporting National Hoarding Awareness Week!
15th to 19th May
A hoarding disorder is where someone acquires an excessive number of items and stores them in a chaotic manner, usually resulting in unmanageable amounts of clutter. The items can be of little or no monetary value.
Hoarding disorders are challenging to treat because many people who hoard frequently do not see it as a problem, or have little awareness of how it's affecting their life or the lives of others.
It's really important to encourage a person who is hoarding to seek help, as their difficulties discarding objects can not only cause loneliness and mental health problems but also pose a health and safety risk.
Why might someone hoard?
Mental Health problems assciated with hoarding:
Links to each of these mental health disorders are linked to the official NHS website
- Excessive acquisition
- Saving behaviours and inability to discard
- Difficulty organising
- Complexity in decision making
- Attachment to items
- Perfectionism (including over attention to detail)
- Avoidance (anxiety)
- Trust issues
- Lack of insight doesn’t see the problem
- Absence of distress (until asked to discard)
- Justification e.g. the place is too small, no time to organise
Many of us have heard of hoarding, but this doesn't mean that we all understand it. The word 'hoarding' is sometimes used in the wrong way, such as:
- The media referring to panic buying as hoarding. This can happen during natural disasters or events like the coronavirus pandemic.
- People calling themselves 'hoarders' because they collect items or have more clutter than usual.
The media might also show hoarding in a very extreme way, which is different to many experiences. This can make it difficult to recognise that you're hoarding or tell other people about your experiences.
People might also make hurtful assumptions about hoarding, such as thinking it means being unclean or lazy. Hoarding doesn't mean you need help tidying up – it's unhelpful if people try to do this for you. It can feel frustrating and upsetting if people don't understand this. but it's important to remember that you are not alone.
What you can do if you suspect someone is hoarding
If you think a family member or someone you know has a hoarding disorder, try to persuade them to come with you to see a GP.
This may not be easy, as someone who hoards might not think they need help. Try to be sensitive about the issue and emphasise your concerns for their health and wellbeing.
Reassure them that nobody is going to go into their home and throw everything out. You're just going to have a chat with the doctor about their hoarding to see what can be done and what support is available to empower them to begin the process of decluttering.
Your GP may be able to refer you to your local community mental health team, which might have a therapist who's familiar with issues such as hoarding.
purpose of the site is to provide information, support and advice for people who hoard and their loved ones. To create awareness about this secretive condition. I don't claim to have a cure, but I hope that with the resources available here, and the wonderfully supportive community that has built over the years, hoarding will become better understood by both sufferers and the people around them, as well as medical professionals, and the general public.
The company’s prevailing belief is that the process has to be fun or it won’t succeed. People often start off frightened about what may be asked of them but the idea is to help people slowly change their behaviour at a pace they find comfortable not to compel them to make dramatic, shocking changes.
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