Helping The Hoarding Condition
The Hoarding Condition may have just recently caught the attention of mainstream media with its presence in pop culture vehicles like reality television series and documentaries. However, hoarding has been an ongoing challenge for many people since the dawn of recorded history. Once viewed as “eccentric” or “loners,” hoarders are no longer able to remain behind a shrouded veil of secrecy and seclusion. It is estimated by hoarding experts that 2-5% of the world’s population suffer from the hoarding condition, turning those once considered as “loners” into friends, neighbors, or relatives.
Though no laws are currently set in place to make it illegal for people to hoard excessive amounts of objects, hoarding can be very dangerous for property inhabitants, their immediate families, and their community. Hoarding creates challenges like unnecessary physical, mental, and emotional strains as well as negatively affecting finances and social behavior. These challenges are even more troublesome when animal hoarding services are needed.
The physical dangers of hoarding are the most challenging to communicate to sufferers of the condition. Because many hoarders are unable or unwilling to admit that their home is overrun with clutter, physical hazards are not a concern to them. Fire hazards, hidden structural damage, pests and insects which carry diseases, and indoor air quality issues are among many more physical hazards in a hoarded home.
Social isolation occurs when people find themselves struggling with the hoarding condition as well. Embarrassed, a hoarder will not want anyone to interact with their home under any circumstance. This will eventually lead to lack of interaction in other private and public settings. This social isolation, coupled with the original mental or emotional damage which created the hoarding condition, can become an oppressive obstacle for hoarders to overcome.
Finally, financial burdens can be staggering. Some hoarding situations involve compulsive spending habits. If this alone were not enough to strain a person’s wallet, fines and penalties can add up to shocking amounts. While hiring a hoarding cleanup service can also represent an unexpected expense, the cost of hiring a reputable deep cleaning service will save a property inhabitant countless amounts of money in the future.
Thankfully, the American Psychiatric Association has finally acknowledged hoarding as its own mental health condition with the publication of their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V. This acknowledgement has created an opportunity for those suffering from the condition to have dedicated mental health practitioners spend more time answer questions about hoarding and other aspects of this quizzical disorder. Hoarders now have more avenues to travel through on their road to a happier, healthier lifestyle.