The Effects Of Hoarding

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In the year 2014 humans have a lot to boast about when it comes to technological, scientific, and medical advancements. We have spent so much time growing food in labs, traveling to the moon, and perfecting robots that we haven’t focused on learning about the inner workings of ourselves. While in the pursuit of happier and easier lives we failed to discover much about hoarding, a disorder that can potentially cause people to bury themselves alive. After reading Stuff by Randy Frost and Gail Steketee, I became interested in the many unknowns of a disorder that has been observed for many years. Little is known about what causes hoarding and little progress has been made to understand those suffering from it. It was always assumed that hoarding is a subtype of OCD and that hoarders are unresponsive to treatment, however recent studies prove that hoarding is its own disorder which requires its own treatments, still left to be discovered.
While hoarding ranges from mild to severe, only the worst cases make it into the news. After viewing pictures of such homes, one wonders why no one intervened to throw a few things out. Where is the logic in keeping so many things that they start to overpower you and trap you inside your home? Hoarders however, lack the ability to simply throw away a possession. The motivation behind retaining such an encumbrance of items lies in the fear of wasting and losing important information. Hoarders attach emotional meanings to each item, giving it personal and special characteristics.
Little is known about what causes hoarding but research gathered by the University of California’s Department of Psychiatry states that the most severe hoarding, compulsive hoarding, may be hereditary; “up to 85% of people ...

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... Brothers will become less and less frequent. Research in most of the other disorders usually held on the same level as hoarding, such as OCD, ADD, and ADHD, are allowing people to live normal live, while hoarding is still dangerous at times. Not only are hoarders a danger to themselves but also to those dependent on them such as children or the elderly along with the rescue personnel who have to climb over mountains of stuff in the case of an emergency. People are literally burying themselves alive in their homes without those around them even noticing. Only by both understanding the biological causes of hoarding fully and changing the environmental ones can we help hoarders. We need to help them break free of the hold their items have on them so they can enjoy all that life has to offer outside of the cramped barricades they are trapped in, before it’s too late.

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