Compulsive Hoarding Revealed
April 30, 2012
A. Compulsive hoarding is a common and potentially disabling problem, characterized by the accumulation of excessive clutter, to the point that parts of one's home can no longer be used for their intended purpose B. Compulsive hoarding could be a subtype of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), which is defined as an anxiety disorder characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead to repetitive behaviors (compulsions). II. Age Onset
A. Age onset of compulsive hoarding and symptoms were initially reported as being in mid-life but actually found it to be in childhood or adolescence. B. Compulsive hoarding symptoms increase over time, which could indicate why hoarding is more commonly being found in adults rather than the earlier stages of childhood hoarding. III. Causes
A. One of the possible causes for compulsive hoarding includes brain injury, better described as damage to the medial prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortex. B. Another possible cause can develop following a traumatic life event, such as the death of a loved one. However, it is unclear if head injuries, life events, or neurological illnesses affect onset and course of compulsive hoarding symptoms in adults. C. The most commonly known cause is that compulsive hoarding is a variant or subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). IV. Identifying
A. Compulsive hoarding is identified as the acquisition of and inability to discard items even though they appear to have no value. B. Other characteristics of compulsive hoarding include: unable to discard large quantities of possessions that appear to be useless or of limited value, living or work spaces are overly cluttered in which daily activities cannot go about, or significant distress or impairment in functioning caused by hoarding behavior or clutter. C. Even more characteristics could be urges to...