Imagine you wake to find that your house is on fire. Most people
can name the few possessions that are near and dear to their hearts that
they would grab immediately before exiting their burning home.
Imagine feeling that strongly about each and every single thing you
possess, and now imagine that your home is so full of possessions that
all that stuff actually prohibits you exiting in a safe and timely manner
during any emergency situation, including a fire.
Compulsive Hoarding Syndrome affects approximately 1.4 to 2
million people in the United States. It is hard to prepare the numbers of
hoarders for statistics because of the debilitating shame the people who
suffer from this mental illness feel, therefore, many are not even
counted. It is also hard because there is not a consistent definition of
Hoarding or Compulsive Hoarding Syndrome. The term is used to
describe a broad spectrum of behavioral abnormalities. The most
commonly accepted definition is a person who acquires and fails to
discard enormous amounts of possessions that are useless or of very
little value to most people, the clutter imposes such an inconvenience
that normal uses of most rooms are not able to be used for the
designated purpose and the clutter causes much distress and limited
functioning of the person with the syndrome. I wish to define the
different types of hoarding, expose the dangers of hoarding, and explain
some treatment options.
According to the Journal of Anxiety Disorders, “little is known about
onset and course of compulsive hoarding” (Grisham). There are several
common types of hoarding. One is known as the frugal mentality hoarder
who thinks that nothing should be wasted, my very own grandmother is
one of this type. Next is the scarcity mentality hoarder who thinks only
of if the depression...