You walk down the stairs to your basement. It is filled with stuff, everywhere. There isn’t a pathway to walk because of all the boxes and things you have stored and kept. You are afraid to throw away anything. After all, you might need it one day. Your husband tries to get you to get rid of a few things or even organize the mess. You can’t. You feel weirdly attached to all that stuff strewn through the room. The mess is creating relationship tension.
Are you a hoarder? Is hoarding interfering with your daily life?
If you suffer from what is called “excessive acquisition” and can’t part with your possessions regardless of their actual value, consider hoarding disorder. It is a psychiatric disorder related to obsessive compulsive disorder. It is not attributed to an illness and causes distress.
The problem with hoarding is that you can create unsanitary conditions in the places you hoard. There is also a risk of fire, blocking exits and walk ways, and you may even trip or fall over piles of stuff. Hoarding causes financial problems in some cases due to excess collecting and buying, and creates distress with people you love.
The main treatment for hoarding is cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) in which you focus on the reasons it is difficult to throw things away. You examine your thoughts and feelings about possessions. Medication may also help.
So if you think you need help , don’t live in isolation with the problem. Get help!