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What causes people to hoard things?

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People hoard possessions due a disorders that causes them to feel things will be valuable in the future, have sentimental value, will help them remember events or because they don't know what else to do with them, notes the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and depression may also lead to hoarding.

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Pica, a disorder that leads people to eat non-food materials, psychosis, dementia and the genetic disorder Prader-Willis syndrome may also be related to hoarding, though not as often as with other disorders, states the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. People who are hoarders may live with broken appliances, lack of heat or other home comforts and have little actual living space. Hoarding can lead to serious financial and family problems and may least to loss of child custody and eviction. In addition to their inability to part with their possessions, people who hoard may also suffer from anxiety at the thought of losing their things, obsessive thoughts and actions around their possessions, difficulty with organizing things and suspicion of other people touching their items.

People who hoard animals often do so after experiencing an illness, disability or death of a significant other and view their animals as sources of love, notes the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Despite the fact that they often cannot properly care for their animals, hoarders may feel that they have played a special part in rescuing them and that no one else can provide a better home.

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