Hoarding: Why It’s Actually Bad For You
Have you ever heard of hoarding? Hoarding is actually a disorder found in people when they have difficulty discarding or parting ways with unimportant or useless possessions. It is because the person with this disorder has an attachment or feeling of perceiving the particular possession as important or cannot be discarded.
A person with a hoarding disorder will feel enormous stress, anxiety and other mental health issues if they have to discard the particular possession. This usually ends up with their personal space being littered with unnecessary belongings, a messy area or workplace, and poor skills. Hoarding can also mean the person may be obsessed with a particular item and will try to accumulate as much as they can.
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Hoarding can be quite harmful to your health as having a cluttered, messy physical space, as well as mental capacity. It can ruin your quality of life, those who close to you and anyone who shares the same physical space as you, including pets. Hoarding can sometimes be extremely hard to identify in yourself. However, identifying it in other people isn’t so hard.
If you are the person doing the hoarding, denial is the first thing that comes to mind, because the perception others have on your personal property doesn’t matter to you in your own perception. If you feel that it is difficult to let go of particular things that don’t serve a purpose, your home or personal workspace is messy and cluttered, then you can certainly look for help or advice from those around you or from an expert.
Do not be confused between being a hoarder or just being lazy. People who are lazy or disorganized just need a bit of motivation or advice. Hoarders often struggle with cleaning or throwing out useless possessions and can cause them great stress or anxiousness.
Hoarding tends to build up over time and can gradually get worse. It can mean hoarding on a few items and then hoarding onto more as time goes by. This will lead to a messy house, dirty floors, cluttered tabletops, stacks of rubbish hidden in closets or rooms, dirty surfaces and a hazardous environment for living. When the hoarding condition reaches a critical stage where the physical environment is completely cluttered, a hoarding will become difficult to treat.
People often hoard because they feel like they don’t want to waste things, feel secure and safer with a particular item being close to them or feel a reminder of better times, a past experience that they want to hang on to.
Signs and symptoms of hoarders can be:
- Constant acquisition of items that serve no purpose or no meaning to others, that do not belong in a particular area of your home or life.
- Feel stress, anxious and anger when an item or possession is missing, lost or thrown out.
- Get stress or turn to denial mode when someone tries to tell you that you are hoarding, showing their perspective or opinions on useless items in your possessions, or advising you to seek help.
- Feeling the intense satisfaction of collecting items that have no significant effect or purpose to your life.
- Showing signs of indecisiveness, avoidance, procrastination as well as the inability to plan or organize typings properly.
- Having a cluttered working environment or home. This can be cluttered stairways, cupboards, drawers, closets, filled with unnecessary or useless items, cluttered, messy table tops and bench surfaces.
- Difficulty in finding, or remembering where certain items are.
Negative Impact of Hoarding
Disorganization is usually the main cause of harm, physically and mentally. It disadvantages you at work, makes you slower at learning, working and socializing. Disorganization can also leave physical clutter and mess that can even become hazardous around the house.
- Can lead to an unsanitary life. Having a cluttered and messy environment will make you dirtier in general. It takes away the need to clean your home or your environment and can create poor habits out of that. The reason why hoarding is often associated with dirtiness is the hoarder loses the sense of responsibility in keeping a clean environment and doesn’t see the importance of cleaning from their perspective.
- Conflict with others. Hoarders may have difficulty trying to explain their habits with those close to them and can often mistake concern as criticism. Due to a strong sense of denial in the hoarder, it can be difficult in making them see their mistakes and poor habits. This can also lead the hoarder to isolation and difficulty in socializing with others.
- Increased stress. Hoarders like to keep every single item of significance close to them. By having so many things to keep and a messy environment, this can lead to increased stress levels. Most hoarders are not able to keep their possessions in good order. When they feel the toil and constraints of a messy home, also compiled with the concerns of close family members and friends, they can become easily stressed or aggravated.
Admit You Have a Problem and Seek Help
Admitting you have a hoarding problem is the hardest, but most necessary step into changing your ways. If you feel any of the symptoms from the disorder of hoarding, it’s completely normal to raise a concern. If others around you are concerned about you, don’t take it personally, and try to understand it from their perspective.
If you believe you have a problem or are unsure about your lifestyle or mental health, you can always speak with a professional psychiatrist or your medical practitioner. They will either tell you that it is a less serious concern or that you may actually have the disorder. Either way, by reaching out and getting help, you know that you’re doing the right thing and getting your life and health on track.
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