As humans, we invest in objects with emotional value. The things that surround us are used not only for the purpose for which they were made but also they work as memorabilia for different moments of our lives.
That’s why we tend to keep some objects with us because they remind us of things we cherish. It’s common that we find ourselves saying things like “I’m going to keep this because I love it too much”. But what happens when we find ourselves completely unable to get rid of things we don’t use anymore?
Do I Have A Problem?
Asking ourselves “what if I need that later?” is normal. We face a little doubt when trying to clean up our houses and get rid of a few things we have in a corner or in the bottom of a drawer. Most of us can throw those objects in the end, but those who suffer from Hoarding Disorder don’t have it that easy.
Hoarding Disorder is the inability to discard or part with possessions, no matter their actual value. This conduct can lead up a person to disrupt their ability to use their living or working spaces and areas. In some cases, hoarding can be a threat to one’s own safety and health. It is a problem that can affect not only the hoarder but also their family and friends.
Hoarding often comes with severe anxiety when attempting to discard items. Hoarders have difficulty organizing their possessions and have trouble deciding what to keep or where to put what they’re keeping. Ironically, people with hoarder disorder can feel deeply overwhelmed by their possessions and suspicious of other people touching their objects. They feel both attracted towards and attacked by their items.
“I’m A Collector, Not A Hoarder”
Hoarding and collecting are not the same things. People who have collections not only look for specific items but also are able to organize, categorize, and properly display their collections. Collectors may have large collections, but they have it under control, they don’t interfere with any of the aspects of their lives. Collectors can also manage their items without feeling any amount of anxiety regarding if they’re going to need that specific item later.
Hoarding Disorder can be a symptom of other conditions, most commonly obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Some risk factors include family history (having a family member who has hoarding disorder) or experiencing a stressful life event that may trigger the development of hoarding disorder.