For someone with this compulsive drive to cling to items that may or may not have value, it can feel rather helpless. Many people experience it for numerous causes, but it always has the same effects. These people's lives begin to feel a little disorganized as the clutter accumulates all around them.

People that compulsively accumulate stuff have a name for themselves. Hoarders are what we call them. Hoarding is defined as the compulsive or pathological drive to amass items while refusing to get rid of them. The life of a hoarder might be severely impacted by a hoarding disorder. The results could be:

1.  Dwelling quarters that are messy and chaotic

2. Distress and hopelessness due to the want to accumulate things

3.   Substitution of a social life

4.  Unhealthy living conditions where viruses and vermin can thrive

It's crucial to understand that collectors and hoarders behave very differently. The distinction is that collectors frequently keep their collections neat and orderly. Hoarders frequently lead completely disorganized lives.


Among the signs of hoarding are:

1.  Unorganized though

 2. Incapacity to make choices

3. Compulsions and obsessive thoughts

4.   Relationship unhappiness

Only in the DSM-5, the most recent revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was hoarding disorder granted its own diagnostic standards.

According to the current definition, 2.5% of the general population has a hoarding disorder, with rates being similar for both men and women throughout developed nations. Hoarding tends to worsen with each passing decade and frequently starts in teens or early adulthood. Co-occurring depression affects about half of those who have the illness. Additionally, compared to the general population, hoarding disorder sufferers appear to have higher rates of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and anxiety disorders.


Before 2013, obsessive-compulsive disorder was thought to include hoarding as a subtype (OCD). The majority of hoarders do not have the typical symptoms of OCD, such as intrusive, recurring thoughts.

The disorder in the house resembles the disorder in cognitive function, it seems. A review of the research on the cognitive processes associated with hoarding discovered that those who suffer from the disorder had difficulties with sustained attention, working memory, organization, and problem-solving. In comparison to both healthy controls and those who had other mental health conditions, they also exhibited inferior visuospatial abilities.

The findings of studies on cognitive deficiencies in hoarding are contradictory, and experts are still figuring out the nature of such deficits.

However, it is evident that those who suffer from hoarding disorder believe they have a variety of cognitive impairments. For instance, persons with the disease reported having more issues with memory, distractibility, and attention. Their severe saving and acquiring activities were connected with the intensity of that subjective.

These cognitive issues combine to weaken the reinforcement patterns that allow the majority of individuals to let go of their belongings. The usage of an item typically increases one's desire to keep it. This implies that someone who never makes pancakes wouldn't have a hard time giving away an unused griddle that's taking up cupboard space. In contrast, "the reinforcement pattern doesn't seem to be with the function of an object, but with the meaning it holds" for those with hoarding disorder. Of course, we all give our possessions significance. We hold onto spoons and sofas for their usefulness, save ticket stubs for nostalgic reasons, and keep art for its aesthetic value. However, those who suffer from hoarding disease are more inclined to give each item a meaning—and frequently give each item a number of meanings. Hoarding disorder patients struggle to control all of their emotional ties to their belongings.

By looking for clues in the brain as to why. The default mode network, a brain region active when a person's thoughts are internal instead of external, was found to be more connected in people with hoarding disorder than in those with major depressive disorder and healthy controls. By comparing the brain activity of individuals with hoarding disorder, those with OCD, and healthy controls when they made decisions about getting rid of their own possessions or goods that belonged to others.

In the salience network, which is involved in identifying and reacting to pertinent stimuli, patients with hoarding disease displayed decreased activity while examining other people's possessions. However, those with hoarding disease displayed hyperactivity in the same brain regions while making decisions regarding their own items. This shows that because their brains are shouting that everything is vital, persons with hoarding disorders are unable to make precise judgments about what is important.


1.      Psychotherapies or counseling for Hoarding Disorder

a.      Online Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that aids patients in examining their thought and behavior patterns and changing any unhelpful ones. Restricting acquisition, practicing sorting and discarding, and cognitive restructuring to challenge attitudes and beliefs about attachment to items are some of the specific CBT components used in Hoarding Disorder treatment. Seeking Online counseling with the best psychologist using CBT for Hoarding Disorder treatment would be of great help

b.      Online Motivational interviewing (MI): A technique called motivational interviewing (MI) aims to boost a person's desire to change their behavior for the better. By assisting the individual in making the connection between their values and behaviors and their goals, and by coming up with solutions to alter behaviors that are inconsistent with their values and goals, MI promotes motivation, often used by Top clinical psychologist.

c.       Skills Training for Hoarding Disorder:  It focuses on assisting people in learning how to organize their belongings within their homes, use problem-solving techniques to address common issues that arise when working on their clutter, and make decisions about keeping necessary items and getting rid of extraneous items that add to clutter, best therapists can help setting goals, skill and behavior modification.


2.      Medication for Hoarding Disorder

Hoarding Disorder medications alter the chemistry and activity of the brain in patients. By elevating their mood or easing their extreme anxiety, they can make it easier for the patient to participate in the healing process. Seek consultation with the best psychiatrists in India for medication to manage the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and compulsion.

If you would like to learn more about hoarding disorder, its causes, symptoms, issues, and challenges and live mindfully, and seek consultation for emotional challenges with the Best Clinical Psychologists it will help you to understand your emotions, thoughts,  and behaviors and enable you to better understand your emotional trauma, depression, and anxiety, stress, and healthy behavioral skills. You can also meet in the clinic with the best clinical psychologists & parenting coaches at Psychowellness Center, a multi-location clinic at Janakpuri, Dwarka, Vasant Vihar, Gurgaon, NOIDA, Faridabad, and Delhi NCR.

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Contributed by: Dr. (Prof) R.K Suri Clinical Psychologist & Life Coach and Ms. Varshini Nayyar, Psychologist