Hoarding Tendencies: Understanding Risks and Finding Help

Hoarding is a complex and misunderstood condition involving over-accumulating items to the point of overwhelming one’s living space. Consequently, it can severely impact daily life and relationships. Therefore, recognizing the signs and seeking help can be crucial in managing this disorder.

In this blog, we will delve into the behaviours associated with hoarding, the contributing factors, the risks involved, and how professional help can make a difference.

Hoarding Tendencies

To begin with, tendencies can vary widely but often include:

  • Inability to Discard Items: A persistent difficulty in discarding or parting with broken or seemingly worthless items because of the belief that they may be needed one day.
  • Collecting Discarded Items: Gathering items others consider trash, believing they have potential value.
  • Overshopping: Frequently buying items, especially from thrift stores or sales, viewing them as bargains too good to pass up.
  • Multiplying Possessions: Accumulating multiple copies of the same item and finding it impossible to resist acquiring more.
  • Accepting Discards from Others: Accepting items out of loyalty, a sense of obligation, or an inability to say no, which further adds to the clutter.
  • Memorabilia Custodianship: Taking on the role of preserving family memorabilia, leading to an overwhelming accumulation of sentimental items.
  • Offering Storage for Others: Agreeing to store items for friends or family, inadvertently exacerbating hoarding tendencies.

Factors Associated with Hoarding Tendencies

Several factors can contribute, including:

  • Brain-Based Conditions: Conditions such as ADHD, anxiety, depression, and executive functioning issues can influence hoarding behaviours.
  • Communication Patterns: Difficulty saying no and impaired decision-making and problem-solving skills can exacerbate hoarding.
  • Living Spaces: Limited storage space combined with abundant possessions can lead to excessive clutter.
  • Physical Challenges: Mobility issues, fatigue, and sleep disorders can make it difficult to manage possessions effectively.
  • Beliefs and Attachments: Overvaluing possessions, viewing them as integral to one’s identity, or fearing they might be needed in the future.
  • Information Processing: Struggling with organising information and becoming easily distracted, contributing to the accumulation of possessions.
  • Behavioural Tendencies: People with hoarding tendencies often over-compensate with possessions or seek bargains as self-soothing.

Risks Associated with Hoarding Tendencies

Hoarding poses several risks, including:

  • Health Hazards: Excessive clutter can lead to dust buildup, poor ventilation, and infestations, posing health risks to occupants.
  • Impaired Self-Care: Hoarding can impede basic self-care activities such as sleeping, washing, cooking, and cleaning.
  • Household Dysfunction: Accumulated possessions may render rooms unusable for their intended purposes, disrupting household functioning.
  • Structural Damage: Over time, hoarding can cause structural damage to homes, making repairs difficult and reducing access to essential services.
  • Impact on Relationships: Hoarding can strain relationships with family and friends, leading to distance or conflict as loved ones struggle to understand and address the issue.

Hoarding Home Solutions Graduate Digital Badge

 

Julie Jensen

Qualifications

Hoarding Home Solutions for Independent Service Providers: Mental Health Provider

Understanding and Treating Hoarding Disorder: University of Sydney Centre for Continuing Education. 

Compulsive Hoarding: Conceptualising and Treating the Chaos: PESI, USA

Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD):

  • Level 1 Foundation Certificate in Chronic Disorganization
  • Level 1 Understanding Hoarding Issues
  • Level 2 Chronic Disorganization Specialist®
  • Level 2 Hoarding Specialist

Read more about me here.  

Seeking Help for Hoarding

The impact of hoarding is complex and far-reaching as it affects relationships with oneself and others and functioning within the living environment.

If you or someone you know is dealing with hoarding tendencies, seeking professional help can be crucial in addressing the issues and improving the quality of life.

How Can Changes in Between Help?

Understanding the challenges of hoarding can be difficult, but you don’t have to face them alone. I specialise in providing compassionate counselling services tailored to individuals impacted by hoarding tendencies. Together, we can explore the underlying triggers, behaviours, and potential risks associated with hoarding and work towards empowering you to take positive steps in managing hoarding and improving your overall well-being.

Services Offered

  • Individual Counselling: These are one-on-one sessions tailored to your needs and goals. Together, we can explore the underlying causes of your hoarding behaviours and develop strategies to address them effectively.
  • Support for Loved Ones: Counselling those affected by someone else’s hoarding, helping them navigate emotional challenges and develop coping strategies.
  • Collaborative Therapy (With You and Your Professional Organiser): While I don’t provide hands-on organising services, I offer counselling to support you if you are working with a professional organiser or preparing to do so. I aim to address any emotional barriers during the organising process. Read more about collaborative therapy.
  • NDIS Support: This is for participants who are Plan Managed or Self-Managed. For support coordinators, please book an initial call so that I can answer any of your questions. I will also need to speak with your client to ascertain if I can assist them and if we agree we are a good fit. Read more about NDIS Support. 
  • My Aged Care Support: This is for agencies seeking counselling support for their clients, I am happy to discuss and complete any compliance paperwork.

How to Get Started

If you’re ready to seek help, here’s how to take the first step – book a brief enquiry call. You will be asked to select a time from the available bookings, for a 15-minute phone call. I will call you at the date and time selected.