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Stop Your Hoarding Habits By Seeking Help From A Counselor

Hoarding is a type of obsessive compulsive disorder that affects approximately 1 in 50 people. While you may not think you have a hoarding problem, your friends and relatives might disagree. If you finally come to the realization that you might be a compulsive hoarder, there is help available. You can break the cycle and the habits if you want to, but it might require counseling services.

What Is Hoarding?

Hoarding occurs when a person acquires too much stuff. A hoarder's house is typically packed full of things, and there may be very little room in the house to get from one room to another. While not all cases of hoarding are extreme, even minor hoarding tendencies can cause issues. Hoarding can lead to:

  • Fire safety issues – When a house has too much stuff in it, there could be a greater chance of a fire breaking out. If this happens, the person living there may not be able to get out because there is stuff in the way.
  • Health issues – Hoarding often leads to unsanitary conditions in a home. A house might be full of bugs, rodents, animal feces, and mold.
  • Emotional issues – Hoarding can also lead to isolation, loneliness, and other types of issues, and these things can lead to emotional issues.

Hoarding is something that often happens as a result of something else.

What Causes Hoarding?

When hoarders seek counseling services for their problem, the counselors often find that these individuals are hoarding for a particular reason. Some of the reasons can include:

  • Emotional attachments – In some cases, people become hoarders because they become emotional attached to "things." These individuals may be lonely, or they might be struggling from issues they had as children, but they cling to their belongings because they are emotionally attached to them.
  • Compensating for losses – Other people become hoarders after losing loved ones. If a person loses a loved one and doesn't cope well with this loss, the person might begin acquiring possessions to compensate for what is missing in his or her life.
  • Depression and mental disorders – Some people hoard simply because their brains are not operating properly. They may not know that what they are doing is harmful, or they may not realize it is a problem.

No matter what the cause is or how severe the hoarding is, hoarding is something that can be treated.

How Is It Treated?

The first step in treating a person that hoards is helping them understand and recognize that there is a problem. Without accomplishing this, a person is not likely to change. Through counseling services, a hoarder may be able to recognize and admit that this is a problem. Counseling will also help the person understand the underlying cause for the addiction.

In addition to individual counseling services, there are several other ways hoarding can be treated, including:

  • Group therapy – When hoarders meet with other people that share the same issue, it not only helps them relate and feel comfortable talking, but it also helps them break free from a life of isolation.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy – This is a form of therapy that helps people learn new habits. With a hoarder, cognitive therapy will help him or her develop a new way of thinking when it comes to possessions. Old thought patterns are replaced with new ones, and this often helps a hoarder avoid relapsing once his or her house is cleaned up.
  • Medication – If the hoarder is suffering from a mental or emotional disorder, treating it with medication can also help. The medication may help the person think more clearly and rationally, which in turn may help the person break free from the habit of hoarding.

If you are struggling with hoarding and want to break this habit, you may want to consider seeking adult counseling services. A counselor may be able to help you understand this condition and find ways to change the way you live.