Hoarding occurs when a person’s unwillingness to let go of objects causes their belongings to pile up and fill the home. Hoarding can impede someone’s quality of life and cause stress, anxiety, depression, and even potential health risks. It can be hard to know if your loved one is hoarding because it is a private condition that usually makes people hide their issues. If you suspect someone you love is hoarding they may not be willing to open up and admit it, so here are some signs you should look out for.
Unwillingness to Let Anyone in the House
This is the biggest red flag for potential hoarding. A hoarder will often avoid letting anyone into their home in order to hide the extent of the situation. If there are persistent excuses for why no one can come visit the home there may be potential cause for concern.
Becoming Socially Withdrawn
Withdrawing from social interaction to avoid judgement or embarrassment is common with hoarders. Hoarding becomes a coping mechanism for people and they can become increasingly comfortable staying at home with their belongings instead of seeking social interaction.
Difficulty Managing Daily Activities
Hoarders psychologically have a different decision making process. Making decisions is difficult because every choice comes with the loss of what they didn’t choose. In order to avoid making decisions, hoarders will often excessively procrastinate, or become consumed with one task that distracts them from all regular daily activities.
The primary way hoarding grows is through the mass accumulation of objects. The compulsion to not throw away items is sometimes accompanied by the compulsion to keep buying items. Frequently buying large quantities of items can be a sign of hoarding.
Excessive Attachment to Belongings
A hoarder’s attachment to objects goes beyond what’s usual. They can become emotionally invested in objects that have no perceived value. If you notice your loved one discussing or treating everyday objects with affection they may be hoarding.
If you see a combination of all the above signs, there is a chance your loved one is hoarding. It’s important to get them to accept both psychological and physical cleanup help. You can find a licensed therapist in your area at iocdf.org and Address Our Mess can handle all physical cleanup needs. The company will sort and organize belongings, handle donated items and trash haul, and deep clean the home to return it to livable conditions.