Compulsive Hoarding and Dr. Randy Frost

Topics: Compulsive hoarding, Obsessive–compulsive disorder, Cluttered speech Pages: 2 (809 words) Published: October 30, 2008
Hoarding is defined as the acquirement of, and inability to discard worthless items even though they appear to have no value. Hoarding behaviors can occur in a variety of psychiatric disorders and in the normal population, but are most commonly found in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Those people who report compulsive hoarding as their primary type of OCD, who experience significant distress or functional impairment from their hoarding, and who also have symptoms of indecisiveness, procrastination, and avoidance, are classified as having compulsive hoarding syndrome ( An estimated 700,000 to 1.4 million people in the United States are thought to have compulsive hoarding syndrome. Compulsive hoarding is not just a person who has an overwhelming stamp or beanie baby collection. People with compulsive hoarding syndrome may have enormous difficulty throwing anything away such as plastic bags, pizza boxes, water bottles, even old newspapers in fear that they may use the item later. Their homes are often full of stuff that the rest of us would call "junk." The most commonly saved items include newspapers, magazines, old clothing, bags, books, mail, notes, and lists. Along with difficulties in throwing things away, compulsive hoarders have severe difficulties with making decisions, perfectionism, and avoiding tasks. People with compulsive hoarding syndrome do not like to make mistakes. In order to prevent making a mistake, they will avoid or postpone making decisions. Even the smallest task, such as washing dishes or checking mail may take a long time because it has to be done exactly right. The net result of these high standards and the fear of making a mistake is that compulsive hoarders avoid doing many tasks, because everything becomes tedious and overwhelming. This is why some houses that belong to hoarders become so dirty and cluttered. They avoid cleaning, and with hardly any trash, the living environment can be hard to...
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