Hoarding disorder is the name of a psychiatric condition that produces symptoms such as the compulsive urge to acquire unusually large amounts of possessions and an inability to voluntarily get rid of those possessions, even when they have no practical usefulness or monetary value. Getting and saving an excessive number of items, gradual buildup of clutter in living spaces and difficulty discarding things are usually the first signs and symptoms of hoarding disorder, which often surfaces during the teenage to early adult years.

• Excessively acquiring items that are not needed or for which there’s no space
• Persistent difficulty throwing out or parting with your things, regardless of actual value
• Feeling a need to save these items, and being upset by the thought of discarding them
• Building up of clutter to the point where rooms become unusable
• Having a tendency toward indecisiveness, perfectionism, avoidance, procrastination, and problems with planning and organizing

Excessive acquiring and refusing to discard items results in:
• Disorganized piles or stacks of items, such as newspapers, clothes, paperwork, books or sentimental items
• Possessions that crowd and clutter your walking spaces and living areas and make the space unusable for the intended purpose, such as not being able to cook in the kitchen or use the bathroom to bathe
• Buildup of food or trash to unusually excessive, unsanitary levels
• Significant distress or problems functioning or keeping yourself and others safe in your home
• Conflict with others who try to reduce or remove clutter from your home
• Difficulty organizing items, sometimes losing important items in the clutter

Treatment of hoarding disorder can be challenging because many people don’t recognize the negative impact of hoarding on their lives or don’t believe they need treatment. This is especially true if the possessions or animals offer comfort. If these possessions or animals are taken away, people will often react with frustration and anger and quickly collect more to help fulfill emotional needs.
The main treatment for hoarding disorder is cognitive behavioral therapy. Medications may be added, particularly if you also have anxiety or depression.

Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, is the primary treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most common form of psychotherapy used to treat hoarding disorder. As part of cognitive behavioral therapy, patient may:
• Learn to identify and challenge thoughts and beliefs related to acquiring and saving items
• Learn to resist the urge to acquire more items
• Learn to organize and categorize possessions to help you decide which ones to discard
• Improve your decision-making and coping skills
• Declutter your home during in-home visits by a therapist or professional organizer
• Learn to reduce isolation and increase social involvement with more meaningful activities
• Learn ways to enhance motivation for change
• Attend family or group therapy
• Have periodic visits or ongoing treatment to help Have periodic visits or ongoing treatment to help you keep up healthy habits

By – Nursing Tutor – Mrs Deepika
Department –  Nursing
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