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becomes a disorder when someone collects too many things and has difficulty letting go or throwing out things that are out of date or no longer functioning.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 obsessive compulsive disorder (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:
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Last reviewed: September 2019