Compulsive Hoarding – Do you find yourself unable to get rid of excess or unused things? Hoarding is simply a gathering of useful things taken to the extreme where they no longer have use or meaning. It has been described as frozen pain or a protective bubble or shell which helps you to escape reality or to compensate for what’s missing in your life.
Are You Hoarding Things?
So, are you a hoarder? Well you may have yourself convinced that your hoarding is not a problem, but just pause for a moment and ask yourself these questions
- Do you rarely leave the house?
- Do you avoid having visitors in case they’ll witness your hoarding?
- Was there a life trauma (moving house, death of a relative, etc) that seems to coincide with an increase in your hoarding activity?
- Do you feel that your life is happy and fulfilled?
- Are you in denial about your problem?
Perhaps some of these questions have struck a chord with you – if they have, it is possible that you may be suffering from a hoarding compulsion.
Compulsive Hoarding Signs
- You regularly hang on to a large number of things that other people regard as having no use or value, for example – newspapers or magazines, broken things that you always mean to fix but never get around to, gifts that you buy that you mean to give to others but never do, etc, etc.
- Your home or parts of your home are no longer useable – for example beds that can no longer be slept in because they are under a mound of “stuff”, tables that can’t be used for eating from because they are overflowing with “stuff”, chairs or sofas that can no longer be used because they have disappeared under the clutter.
- Your hoard is so bad that it causes distress – for example, feeling too embarrassed to have friends over, feeling depressed, anxious or overwhelmed by your hoard, knowing that there is a risk to your safety from falling, fire, rodent infestation, etc.
Treatment For Hoarding Compulsion
Hoarding can be treated by addressing the four main components of the hoarding problem
- Cognitive Distortions – in other words, the difficulty that hoarders have regarding making a decision of whether a possession is useful or not
- Emotional Attachment – in other words, challenging the sentimental attachments that a hoarder has to their objects.
- Beliefs About Possessions – in other words helping the hoarder to understand that they no longer have to control things or make sure things don’t go to waste.
- Behavioural Avoidance – in other words, helping the hoarder to face up to those decisions they’ve been avoiding, that social contact they have been avoiding and the task of organising their possessions.
“I was in real trouble with my hoarding when I came to see Paul first. It had gotten so bad that I wouldn’t let anyone into my house. In my opinion, the change in me is nothing short of a miracle. I no longer hoard anything. I can move freely around my house again and have friends over.”
Contact in Glasgow, Linda Alexander on 014 632 1440 and 07875 493 358, also firstname.lastname@example.org