When people think of addiction, they usually think of drug and alcohol addiction. And not without good reason too. Drug and alcohol addiction are surely the two most common and concerning addictions in this country and the two most dangerous as well. But that doesn’t mean that these are the only two types of addictions. In fact, there are others that cause lots of problems in their way, such as hoarding addiction. The definition of hoarding is as follows:
- “Obsessively and compulsively acquiring objects and possessions without having a need for such things. Always buying new things and then not being able to get rid of them. Having an actual addiction to owning things and to acquiring things.”
Hoarding comes down to possessions and the obsessive need to constantly have possessions and to obtain things. These symptoms and this addiction usually surface in one’s teen or young adult years, and then it transcends up into adult life on a more severe level.
So, why do people hoard? In all honesty, people don’t know if there is an exact, particular cause to hoarding. Certainly, hoarding is by its very nature an addiction, so the laws and theories of addiction certainly do apply to it. Hoarding probably starts just like any other addiction starts. Deep set, underlying issues from one’s past that then rise and create a compulsive, dangerous, and very debilitating problem in one’s life. Even in one’s own life, hoarding can have extreme repercussions. Here are some of the negative consequences that can come about from hoarding:
- Family conflicts and problems
- Increased risk of falling
- Risk of injury
- Loneliness and not being around other people
- Fire hazards and dangerous living conditions
- Unsanitary conditions that pose a health risk
- Eviction, being unable to rent a place to live, and other legal issues
- Poor work performance
- Depression, sadness, and misery
- Anxiety, paranoia, nervousness, fear
Signs and Symptoms of Hoarding
Hoarding is very different from collecting, which is a hobby. The key difference here is that hoarding is compulsive and uncontrollable, whereas collecting is accurate and not compulsive. Here are some signs of hoarding:
- Excessively acquiring unnecessary items
- Having a hard time throwing away items
- Feeling the need to save articles and not wanting to throw them away
- Unusable rooms because of so much clutter
- From a personality standpoint, being indecisive, having a perfectionist attitude, avoiding things, procrastinating, and having general problems with planning and organizing things
- Acquiring a massive buildup of items, trash, food, clothes, papers, books, etc.
- Having conflict with others who are trying to reduce or remove some of the clutter
- Having difficulty in removing clutter and other similar items
Getting Help with a Hoarding Addiction
Hoarding is not an addiction in the same way that substance addiction is but it is still most definitely an addiction. For people who are addicted to hoarding, the key for them is to seek out help for their hoarding addiction problem.
At A Forever Recovery, we specialize in helping people with any dependence that they might have, including an addiction to hoarding. Though a hoarding addiction might not seem like a huge issue, it still most definitely is a harsh problem for those who are affected by it. It does ruin lives. Call A Forever Recovery today to find out how we address hoarding and receive the help you need.