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Hoarding disorder

2-minute read

What is hoarding disorder?

Many people collect things as a hobby or for sentimental reasons - from stamps to their kids' teeth. However, some people's compulsion to collect and keep things can have a negative impact on their everyday life.

Hoarding becomes a disorder when someone collects too many things and has difficulty letting go or throwing out things that are out of date or no longer functioning. Often, people who hoard have difficulty moving around their home because of the number of things they have accumulated. The person may even no longer be able to maintain or clean their home.

Complications of hoarding disorder

People who hoard often buy too much, so as to keep up with their compulsion, which can result in financial hardship and/ or relationship problems. Hoarding can lead to living in squalid conditions, which is a health hazard. Compulsive buying and hoarding has links to OCD and depression.

Where to get help

Talk to your doctor or another trusted health professional if this is happening to you, and discuss your situation and how you are feeling. You can also call:

  • Mindspot (free treatment course designed to help people with compulsions learn to overcome their distressing obsessions) - call 1800 614 434
  • ThisWayUp (Crufad) (trial treatments for compulsive behaviours) - call (02) 8382 1400.

Last reviewed: September 2017

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