The American Psychiatric Association has added an official entry in the new DSM-V to classify hoarding as a serious mental disorder. This problem may seem like a bad habit or an avoidance of cleaning and organization, but it is a condition that can disrupt the normal routine of life. If you’re concerned that you or a loved one might be a hoarder, check for these five common warning signs.
Stuff Takes Over
When hoarding sets in, affected individuals find that two or three rooms are dedicated to storing random items. It’s perfectly normal to have a few extra boxes of mementos in the kitchen or a guest room full of sports equipment or out of season clothing. However, hoarders eventually can’t contain their clutter in reasonable ways. Many people who are in the depth of this kind of struggle find their entire home taken over.
If you won’t let friends and family come by because your messy house embarrasses you, you may be hoarding. People who have been engaging in this behavior of years often refuse to even let service providers like plumbers to enter. They would rather live without a broken fixture or even electricity in their home than allow someone to find out about their secret.
Most hoarders feel that nearly every item in their collection is valuable or useful in some way. Unfortunately, this is usually not true. It’s hard for friends and family to help hoarders clean up their homes when they don’t want a single item to go to waste.
You Can’t Throw It Away
Even if you can accept that a ball of newspaper doesn’t have a lot of value, you may be a hoarder if you still can’t throw it away without severe anxiety. Feeling emotionally attached to trash and even worthwhile but unnecessary items are a hallmark of this disorder. Cleaning is a painful chore when you don’t want to get rid of empty boxes, broken items and other debris.
Hoarding and accidental clutter can be indistinguishable in the beginning, but the problem will eventually cause a serious interruption to your lifestyle. Boxes and bags will pile up over the years. The homes of hoarders are usually considered unhealthy because it’s impossible to remove dust and dirt when the rooms are filled with items. If animals live in the home, their waste often becomes mixed into the mess and causes serious disease issues. Hoarders may spend most or all of their income purchasing more items with little to no practical value.
If you are concerned you or a loved one is struggling with any type of addiction, whether it be alcohol, hoarding, or drugs, find more information at http://www.delrayrecoverycenter.com/9856/alcohol-addiction-in-us-infographic/.