Often considered to be related to or a symptom of OCD, hoarding is defined by the excessive acquisition and saving of items that have little or no particular value. Additionally, hoarders have a great deal of difficulty discarding items that they have collected. When they do attempt to throw away belongings, they experience significant levels of distress. Individuals may also think obsessively about their items and may be unable to make decisions related to their belongings. Along with decision making, organizational skills are likewise limited. All of these symptoms cause some degree of functional impairment. Typically, hoarding behavior results in clutter and loss of functional living space within the home. Individuals may experience interspersonal stress and isolation as a result of their hoarding.
Often family members are deeply affected by the individual’s behavior and living environment and can be instrumental in getting persons to participate in treatment.
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