Hoarding Disorder

Hoarding Disorder is diagnosed when a person excessively acquires possessions, and fails to discard possessions, even if the items are worthless, dirty, or a danger to their health. The difference between being a “pack rat” and a compulsive hoarder lies between how much your excessive possessions interfere with areas of your life. People can hoard a variety of items including food, bills, newspapers, animals, etc. It can often be hard to some people to throw away items because they believe each item has an important meaning.

Hoarding was once thought to be only a symptom of obsessive compulsive disorder, but it is now seen as its own disorder due to the fact that 2-5% of the population experience Hoarding Disorder. Treatment can include working with a licensed therapist and or a professional organizer. Family consultation and therapy are available.

People with hoarding disorder typically save items because:

  • They believe these items will be needed or have value in the future
  • The items have important emotional significance — serving as a reminder of happier times or representing beloved people or pets
  • They feel safer when surrounded by the things they save

Hoarding disorder affects emotions, thoughts and behavior. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Persistent inability to part with any possession, regardless of its value
  • Excessive attachment to possessions, including discomfort letting others touch or borrow them or distress at the idea of letting an item go
  • Letting food or trash build up to unusually excessive, unsanitary levels
  • Difficulty managing daily activities because of procrastination and trouble making decisions
  • Moving items from one pile to another, without discarding anything

Hoarding Disorder Self-Assessment Quick Quiz

Take a moment to answer these quick questions and see if you’re at risk for—or currently suffering from—hoarding disorder. Typical hoarder will answer “yes” to at least 7 questions.

1. Are some living areas in your home cluttered?
Y/N
2. Do you have trouble controlling urges to acquire things?
Y/N
3. Does the clutter in your home prevent you from using some of your living space?
Y/N
4. Do you have trouble controlling your urges to save things?
Y/N
5. Do you have trouble walking through areas of your house because of clutter?
Y/N
6. Do you have trouble throwing away or discarding things?
Y/N
7. Do you experience distress throwing away or discarding possessions?
Y/N
8. Do you feel distressed or uncomfortable when you can not acquire something you want?
Y/N
9. Does the clutter in your home interfere with your social, work or everyday functioning?
Y/N
10. Do you have strong urges to buy or acquire free things for which you have no immediate use?
Y/N
11. Does the clutter in your home causes you distress?
Y/N
12. Do you have strong urges to save things you know you may never use?
Y/N
13. Do you feel upset/distressed about your acquiring habits?
Y/N
14. Do you feel unable to control the clutter in your home?
Y/N
15. Has compulsive buying resulted in financial difficulties?
Y/N
16. Do you often avoid trying to discard possessions because it is too stressful or time consuming?
Y/N
17. Do you often decide to keep things you do not need and have little space for?
Y/N
18. Does the clutter in your home prevent you from inviting people to visit?
Y/N
19. Do you often buy or acquire for free things for which you have no immediate use or need?
Y/N
20. Do you often feel unable to discard a possession or possessions you would like to get rid of?
Y/N

To learn how the Panic/Anxiety/Recovery Center can help you, or to schedule a consultation, please call us at (312) 543-4793

  • Concern about your own or others’ health or safety
  • Unnecessary worry about the welfare of a child (who is in no real danger)
  • Concern about a job or career
  • Fears regarding money
  • Worry about family or other close relationships

Physical and Emotional Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

In addition to persistent worry, people with generalized anxiety disorder experience a number of physical symptoms and emotional disturbances, including but not limited to:

  • Muscle tension
  • Becoming easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating or “mind going blank”
  • Restlessness, or feeling “keyed up” or “on edge”
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Abdominal upsets
  • Trembling
  • Irritability
  • Shortness of breath

The combination of anxiety, worry and physical symptoms can significantly interfere with a person’s normal routine and typical activities in social, occupational and other areas of functioning.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder Self-Assessment Quick Quiz

Take a moment to answer these quick questions and see if you’re at risk for—or currently suffering from—generalized anxiety disorder:

  • Have you experienced excessive worry on most days for at least six months?
  • Do have unfounded worry about health, work, relationships and/or finances?
  • Are you troubled by irritability, fatigue and feelings of being “keyed up” or “on edge?”
  • Do you have a problem concentrating or relaxing?
  • Do you have trouble going to sleep and staying asleep?
  • Does your anxiety interfere with your life?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, there’s a chance you’re suffering from generalized anxiety disorder. To learn how the Panic/Anxiety/Recovery Center can help you, or to schedule a consultation, please call us at (312) 543-4793

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