When you are stockpiling far too much stuff, and you find it very difficult to get rid of, you have a hoarding disorder. Your home becomes very cluttered and disorganised, and it all starts to take over your everyday life.
People may develop a hoarding problem for many different reasons. Often it may be because of anxiety or depression, or it may be a form of OCD. You may well develop this kind of mental health problem if you are struggling to manage a neurological condition.
Many people with a hoarding disorder do not recognise that they have a problem. Or they may feel it is too embarrassing to talk about.
Hoarding can lead to serious health and safety problems. Hoarding can make it difficult to clean your home. The clutter may cause you to trip and fall. And many household fires involve hoarding - not only is a fire likely to start in the clutter, it can be very difficult to escape from the fire because of all the stuff in the way..
So if you are worried that someone has a hoarding probem, it is important for you to encourage them to ask for help. This does not mean someone just chucking everything out, because this will not help, and is very likely to cause distress. And extra storage space won't solve the problem either. Someone with a hoarding problem needs to have a chat with their GP, or with somebody from a support group.
More information and support
charity providing support
• find your local support group: https://hoardinguk.org/support-groups
charity run by, and for, people with OCD
• find your local support group: www.ocduk.org/support-groups
- Hoarding disorder (NHS)
- Hoarding Disorder (OCD-UK)
- Hoarding (Mind)
- Hoarding (Anxiety UK)
- Hoarding (Royal College of Psychiatrists)
- The Liverpool OCD-UK support group meets at The Brain Charity.
Hoarding Awareness Week for 2020 starts on 18th May. This campaign was founded by the National Fire Chiefs Council.