Junk Taking Over

Thanks to reality television, awareness of hoarding disorder is on the rise. But while it takes more than a junk closet to make a hoarder, most cases aren’t as extreme as the ones on TV. Hoarding is a behavioral pattern that negatively impacts the health, relationships, and quality of life of those who suffer from it. Recognizing and understanding hoarding is the first step in helping someone overcome it.

hoarding boston libraryWhat Is Hoarding?

Hoarding is a behavioral pattern that revolves around an accumulation of stuff and an inability to throw things away. Though hoarding usually manifests in older people, the early signs develop as early as adolescence. 2-5% of the population suffers from hoarding, nearly 3% more than the number of people suffering from OCD. Hoarders do not collect to display their items, and often feel a sense of shame over collecting what others may deem “junk” or “trash” and hide their stashes.

Negative Impact of Hoarding

When hoarding starts to infringe on living space, it drastically reduces the residents’ quality of life. But hoarding can have more far reaching fallout. Hoarders often cannot recognize their problem. Throwing away even “junk” can make them anxious or depressed. This leads to isolation and a breakdown of their close personal relationships. Health quickly declines in hoarders because of their accumulation of trash, their inability to clean overfull rooms, and hoarding of harmful items.

Hoarding Help

If you know a hoarder, the right answer isn’t an immediate overhaul. Hoarding is a mental disorder that requires psychological assistance. When your loved one is ready to clean out their garages and junk sheds, overflowing closets, and collections of appliances, start slow. Use positive language instead of condemning the habit and realize that hoarders need continued support or they’ll fall back into old patterns.

If you or a loved one suffers from hoarding disorder, contact an Atlanta help center. Once the healing has begun, call your Atlanta junk removal services to remove old collections, stockpiles of magazines and junk mail, and larger items like furniture and appliances. Reclaiming your life means freedom from the controlling power of clutter.

photo from flickr

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