Self Neglect and Hoarding

Hoarding

Sometimes, but not always, there are strong links between self-neglect and hoarding. Hoarding disorder was previously considered a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) but is now considered a standalone mental disorder. However, it can also be a symptom of other mental disorders. Hoarding disorder is distinct from the act of collecting and is also different from people whose property is generally cluttered or messy. It is not simply a lifestyle choice.

Hoarding is the excessive collection and retention of any material to the point that living space is sufficiently cluttered to preclude activities for what they are designed. Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty in discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them.

A person with a hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs. The acquisition of, and failure to discard possessions which appears to be useless or of limited value (Frost & Gross,1993). Compulsive hoarding is often considered a form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) because between 18% and 42% of people with OCD experience some compulsion to hoard. However, compulsive hoarding can also affect people who do not have OCD.

Hoarding is now considered a standalone mental health disorder and is included in the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) 2013. Hoarding can also be a symptom of other medical disorders.

Hoarding Disorder is distinct from the act of collecting and is also different from people whose property is generally cluttered or messy. It is not simply a lifestyle choice. The main difference between a hoarder and a collector is that people who hoard have strong emotional attachments to their objects which are well in excess of their real value.

Hoarding does not favour a particular gender, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, educational/occupational history or tenure type.

Further information about Hoarding can be found at: Hoarding disorder - NHS (www.nhs.uk) 

Video: Keith's story: a personal and touching film about hoarding