Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hoarding is a Compulsive Disorder and Valid Mental Health Problem

By Mary King

No one knows what's piled up behind closed doors and most hoarders prefer to keep it that way. Compulsive hoarding is collecting items in excess combined with the inability to throw anything away. Hoarders may collect things that are new, but in most cases the items have little or no value. Some hoarders even collect multiples of the same items, especially clothing. A hoarder doesn't discard anything – even trash or garbage – if there is the slightest chance it could be used at a later time.

Active and Passive Hoarders

There are two approaches to hoarding: Active and passive. In both cases, mountains of items fill nearly every available space in the house. A hoarder may have piles of junk outdoors in the yard. What is the difference between an active hoarder and a passive hoarder?

Active hoarders salvage items from trash cans, flea markets, yard sales and every place else imaginable. An active hoarder may go shopping at the mall and will buy items that he or she really doesn't need. Active hoarders go online to buy things or make mail order purchases for items that will probably never be used.

Passive hoarders accumulate things contributed by other people. The passive hoarder accepts clothing, furniture, collectibles, old appliances, electronics or anything else that a neighbor, friend, coworker or family member outside the home no longer wants. Like the active hoarder, the passive hoarder believes his "treasures" are worth keeping..." More

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