Hoarding is the excessive collection of items, along with the inability to discard them, to the point that parts of one’s home can no longer be used for their intended purpose.
Symptoms and Signs:
People hoard because they believe that an item will be needed or have value in the future. People who hoard may report feeling safer when surrounded by the things they save.
A lack of functional living space is common among hoarders, who may also live in unhealthy or dangerous conditions. Hoarders often live with broken appliances and without heat or other necessary comforts.
Hoarding can also lead to conflicts with family members and friends who are frustrated and concerned about the state of the home and the hoarding behaviors.
Also, Hoarding officially became recognized as a mental health disorder with the publication in 2013 of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). (The DSM is an important reference used by mental health professionals and insurance companies, among others.)
If you or a loved one has symptoms of hoarding, talk with a doctor or mental health provider as soon as possible. Getting treatment at the first signs of a problem may help prevent hoarding from becoming severe.
For more information go to:
To Find Providers in Connecticut’s Community Resources Database:
Search by service name: Clutterer/Hoarder Support Groups
SOURCES: Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Mayo Clinic; Institute of Living; Clutters Anonymous; National Center on Law and Elder Rights (NCLER)
PREPARED BY: 211/mm
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: April2023