Hoarding disorder is the persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value. It is related to OCD, ADHD, and anxiety, and can cause severe impacts to the person's daily life. A person who has hoarding disorder may experience a compulsion to acquire items (such as not wanting to pass up a bargain or a perceived need to collect things) and/or they may experience strong distress at getting rid of items (in case they might need them or they have perceived sentimental value).
Animal hoarding is also a type of hoarding disorder where the person takes in large numbers of animals (dozens or even hundreds), which can result in poor living conditions for the animals. Animal hoarding is often related to delusional disorder, where the person believes they can take care of all of the animals and that the animals are better off with them, even though that is not the reality.
It can be difficult to get people with hoarding disorder into treatment, because they often don't see things as an issue themselves. If family members suspect that treatment is needed, it is recommended to provide an empathetic united front to communicate the severity of the issues and provide a solid action plan for getting into treatment.
Just getting rid of a hoarder's possessions does not treat the root cause of the issue. It is not a situation where they are just disorganized or lazy. Treatment should include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and potentially medication.
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