Q:

What are the signs of hoarding and how do you get help?

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Quick Answer

According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of hoarding manifest as an inability to detach from objects and possessions that others would consider useless, leaving trash to pile up within the home and living a sheltered life indoors with limited social interaction. Treatment from a professional psychotherapist, such as cognitive behavior therapy, helps a patient return to normalcy and may include the use of antidepressants.

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What are the signs of hoarding and how do you get help?
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Full Answer

Additional symptoms of hoarding include failing to maintain societal standards of cleanliness and hygiene, exhibiting aggression and anxiousness when people try to touch or discard the person's belongings and allowing clutter to build up in key areas of the home, such as the kitchen and bathroom. As the Mayo Clinic explains, hoarding is a true psychological disorder that causes a person to feel extreme shame, indecisiveness, social isolation, anxiety and depression.

Psychologists are unsure of the causes of hoarding, but evidence suggests that hoarders manifest symptoms during their early teenage years and usually have a close relative who also suffers from the disorder. Signs may be missed in early age, as hoarding tends to increase in severity as patients grow older. The Mayo Clinic explains that hoarding disorder is common among patients who also suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorder and depression.

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