Hoarding Disorder is more common than people think. Someone you care about, a friend, or even a relative may be dealing with a cluttered or hoarded property, and you wouldn’t have a clue about it. Hoarding Disorder symptoms may help identify a potentially hazardous situation.. It’s important to remember that if you want to help a person who may be struggling with HD, you need to approach the situation with deep care, understanding, and a true desire for helping that goes beyond judgment.
As of today, hoarding is recognized as a mental health disorder. As such, mental health professionals have developed treatments to help individuals better understand their relationship with their possessions. Hoarding Disorder has a positive outlook if treated properly.
If you want to help someone who may be dealing with a Hoarding Disorder, a severely cluttered house, or someone who seems to have lost control of their life, there are a few signs that can help you identify it. Remember, approaching hoarding scenarios takes a great deal of patience and understanding. If this process is too difficult for you or your loved ones, Bio-One of Chula Vista can help you.
Common Hoarding Disorder Symptoms
- A constant difficulty with throwing or giving away possessions: Hoarders have a very hard time with just the thought of separating from their possessions — anything from collectibles, books, magazines, food, house appliances, and even animals. For them, it’s not about what these things are worth in terms of money or functionality. It’s about the emotional value that the person sees in them. Mental health professionals can help individuals develop organizational skills that prevent them from relapsing into hoarding behavior in the future.
- Compulsive buying and loss of control when it comes to saving items: Hoarders typically buy things they don’t necessarily need. They have this fear of things running out or a need to “save” them. This is especially challenging when it comes to animal hoarding situations. In their eyes, they are helping these creatures, when in reality, the conditions that they’re living in make a really dangerous and hazardous scenario that puts everyone’s life at risk. You can contact your local authorities and welfare organizations in case you notice a case of animal hoarding in your neighborhood.
Lack of functional living spaces and social isolation
- Lack of functional living spaces: The accumulation of items usually results in severely cluttered properties. Those struggling with Hoarding Disorder become easily overwhelmed by the idea of discarding anything. Mountains of clutter and waste are often piled up in staircases, hallways, kitchen counters, beds, and areas that are necessary for a person to accomplish day-to-day activities. The lack of functional living spaces poses a threat to anyone living or trying to clean them up.
- Isolation from friends and family is quite common: Believe it or not, sometimes, hoarders don’t feel comfortable with their living situation. They feel trapped, wishing they could do more, be less indecisive, perhaps… They have lost control and need help, but surely they won’t ask for it. What happens is that they will choose to live by themselves, away from anyone who might pass judgment on what and how they’re living. If you know someone who might be struggling with Hoarding Disorder, be prompt in connecting with that person to get the help they need.
What you can do to help approach Hoarding Disorder Symptoms
Hoarding Disorder is not easy. Hoarding scenarios are challenging for the victim, the families involved, and anyone who feels close to the individual. But there is a way out. If you want to help a loved one or someone you think may be struggling with Hoarding Disorder, you need to consider involving professionals, especially mental health professionals. General practitioners, psychologists, and other specialists can assist the person and provide them with the necessary treatment to overcome hoarding.
One of the most common treatments for Hoarding Disorder is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). During CBT, patients learn how to gradually discard things they don’t need and improve their relationship with their belongings. They also learn about decision-making skills and organization tips.
How Bio-One can help treat Hoarding Disorder symptoms
If you need help removing clutter and cleaning a hoarded property, Bio-One of Chula Vista’s specialists can help you. Our job is to make sure to get involved with the victim and their families, as we understand that these situations require deep care, understanding, compassion, and a clear determination to tackle the clutter problem effectively. Hoarded properties pose multiple health and safety risks, and exposing family members and other people to these scenarios without the proper training may result in more trouble. Leave the heavy work to us; our specialists are ready to help you declutter and disinfect your house or property.
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Locally owned, Bio-One of Chula Vista works closely with emergency responders, hoarding task forces, public service agencies, and other organizations to provide the most efficient service possible:
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