Written by Michelle Silverman
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- Impulsively purchasing or collecting items in excess
- Struggling to dispose of items and becoming upset when others try to do so.
- Interference with daily activities (e.g. going to school/work, socializing, etc.)
- Difficulty maneuvering or finding things amidst the clutter
- Unsafe or unhygienic conditions (e.g. fire hazards, rotten food, vermin, etc.) that may result in eviction or intervention from social services
- Embarrassment and/or refusal to allow visitors into the house.
- maladaptive patters in thinking (e.g. forming firm beliefs about not wasting objects or needing them later)
- impulsive behaviors (e.g. impulsive purchasing/collection of items)
- emotional attachment issues (e.g. giving objects human-like qualities leading to difficulty parting with those objects)
- neurological impairments (e.g. difficulty with information processing, memory, categorization, and decision-making) resulting from abnormalities in key brain structures.
- Practicing disposing of the hoarded items first with the help of a trained professional and then independently.
- Teaching the individual to question, challenge and eventually modify their thought patterns (e.g. challenging the notion that items need to be kept on hand or considering the negative consequences of hoarding on marriage or friendships)
- With the help of a clinician, learning how to go out without purchasing unnecessary items.
- Accepting that relapse might happen and creating a plan to prevent future clutter.