Most of us hold on to possessions to comfort ourselves. By the time you reached adulthood, the common response is to abandon your security blankets and plush toys. You may hang on to some treasured items but you don’t rely on it to comfort you–at least not on a regular basis.
Some of these extra possessions and exhibited behaviour don’t pose a problem. However, it’s different for people who have difficulty in discarding objects regardless of their value.
Hoarding is entirely different from collecting. It is like a disease that exhibits difficulty with discarding or parting with possessions and will accumulate to the point of excess. The person who experiences hoarding disorder sees the items as a necessity.
Commonly hoarded items:
- Paper and plastic bags
- Appliances and other home electronics
- Other treasured items
How does hoarding affect people?
Nearly everyone keeps some things that they don’t need or use, thinking that just in case they become useful in the future. Hoarding disorder range from mild to severe that can affect people of all ages even young children.
Depending on how extreme an individual’s hoarding behaviour is, it can significantly impact their physical or emotional health even relationships, financial stability and professional aspirations.
Extreme hoarding can lead to squalor or squalid living. It refers to a person’s wretched and filthy living environment due to prolonged hoarding. Hoarding can affect an individual’s life perceptions and living conditions, including:
- Personal hygiene and physical health safety
- Property is potential or prone to fire
- Affects children’s safety and even animals
- A poor living environment that leads to a health hazard
How do you support someone with hoarding disorder?
Hoarders often buy unnecessary items to keep up with their compulsion which can result in other issues such as relationship or financial problems. It is also difficult for friends and family to manage and understand the disorder especially if the person involved does not recognise that they have a problem.
- Encourage the person to seek professional help
- Avoid going to the person’s place and throw things away without even talking to him or her
- Recognise their fears of losing their possessions
- Do not expect to fix the behaviour immediately–be realistic with your expectations
Get help from the public and private sectors
People with hoarding disorder may have other mental health issues including anxiety disorder, depressions or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Most of the time the person will rationalise their behaviour and believe that the items are valuable or with a significant purpose. One of the most effective interventions for hoarders is to involve the professionals, building and animal services from public and private sectors to:
- Work collaboratively with other services to plan a service response to the person involved
- Respond to the current and future health and safety of the person, family and animals
- Meet or provide legal, regulatory and ethical requirements
Hoarding begins at any age and it escalates as the people get older. If the behaviour is left untreated, it can lead to a significant and costly consequence specifically fire that can estimate at $36,880 per occurrence.
There are several agencies and community centres you can tap for resources and information that is useful with hoarding. Getting early guidance for hoarding behaviour, the more effective the treatment will be for the person involved.
People with hoarding disorder must feel loved and valued to make their treatment more fruitful. Progress can move slow and some cases are left unresolved. However, the main objective of hoarding treatment is to ensure the safety of the person involved to minimise the risk associated along with the behaviour.
It is challenging for everyone involved in the situation. In fact, there has been no definite treatment with hoarding disorder. But, if the community will work together from funded services and private sectors, over time, it can improve the person’s lifestyle.
If you need assistance, Aussie Junk can provide you with the most reliable rubbish removal services. We commit to our job and we understand our customer’s needs. We understand it’s not easy for you to discard your items but we value the life you deserve–free from health hazards.
Call us today at 0435 569 921 and we will be there on time to assist and provide you with the utmost rubbish removal services.