Compulsive hoarding is a condition that is characterized by acquiring too many possessions and the inability to get rid of them when they are no longer useful or needed (International OCD Foundation). When the clutter or disorganization becomes extreme and the person’s safety or health is threatened or it leads to distress, hoarding becomes a “disorder.”
Unlike collectors, who keep their possessions well-organized. They also categorize their possessions so that viewers can see the differences between the items to form interesting and valuable collections. New research by the NIMH indicates that individuals who hoard have less remorse getting rid of other people’s things (American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy). In contrast, when asked to get rid of their own things, the brain center that is responsible for decision-making becomes over-activated preventing them from properly assessing risk, assigning value to their possessions and increasing feelings that a wrong decision is being made.
In essence, the brains of individuals who hoard trick them into keeping their items even though they can create risk to self and other. This results in more items being accumulated, yet none being removed when no longer purposeful.
A.C.T. will provide free resource information for individuals and families to help promote education. For more information, please contact Dr. Drecun at Dr.Drecun@a4ct.com or (858) 792-3541. You may also visit us online at www.a4ct.com. ACT serves the Carmel Valley 92130 and Solana Beach 92075 area.