Understanding hoarding behavior

June 19, 2012
| Reprints
Multiple theories exist on the cause of hoarding
Understanding hoarding behavior
Click To View Gallery

 

 While pioneers and experts on the subject of hoarding are still unlocking the puzzle of what causes this compulsive behavior that is in today’s media spotlight, it is believed that hoarding has both genetic and socialized components (nature and nurture).

Hoarding has been related to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety disorder, but it is distinct and will have its own classification in the forthcoming DSM-5. Hoarding involves not only an excessive accumulation of objects, but especially an excessive difficulty discarding them—to the point where this causes distress for the hoarder, problems in his/her relationships, impaired movement/use of space, and other consequences.

Theories about what causes hoarding include:

·        Getting a high from accumulating, and feeling pain/anxiety when discarding.

·        Reaction to change, trauma, loss, stress—control over little things.

·        Social anxiety/phobia; isolation/protection.

·        Shaky sense of self and over-identification with objects.

·        Problems with attention/organization.

·        Problems processing information/categorizing.

·        Problems making decisions.

Page
of 2Next
Creating a Safe Environment for Individuals with a History of Trauma

DON'T MISS: Providing Trauma-Informed Services for Survivors of Sexual Violence
Sunday, August 24th at the 2014 National Conference on Addiction Disorders in St. Louis

Learn More and Register Today
Topics