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Drowning in Your Own Clutter: 8 Signs & Symptoms of Hoarding

Hoarding is a mental condition that drives individuals to collect useless items in larger quantities. The most common items saved by hoarders are household items, clothing, newspapers, magazines and, sometimes, animals.

The hoarding practices go on for many years without detection, and some hoarders hide it so well that family members never suspect. Families who feel that their loved one might be a hoarder are encouraged to review the eight signs and symptoms of hoarding.

image - Drowning in Your Own Clutter - 8 Signs & Symptoms of Hoarding
Drowning in Your Own Clutter: 8 Signs & Symptoms of Hoarding

1. Irrational Fear of Needing Items in the Future

An irrational fear of needing items in the future fuels the debate over why the hoarder should get rid of the items.

Instead of organizing useful items, hoarders create piles throughout the property. The piles become too overwhelming, and the hoarder will refuse to go through the items or get rid of anything.

The fear that they might need the item later is the standard argument for justifying the clutter. Families that need to clean out a hoarder’s home can visit dumpsquadusa.com for more information.

2. A Large Number of Animals in the Home

Property owners with an abnormally large number of animals are hoarders, too. The individuals believe no one else will provide the right standard of care for the animals.

But, the conditions prevent the animals from remaining healthy, and some animals in hoarded conditions die.

It is one thing to operate a sanctuary for animals, but the animals must have safe and clean living conditions. Hoarders will never provide a safe or clean home for animals, and the hoarder’s mental health suffers because of it.

3. Unsanitary Conditions and Never-Ending Clutter

Unsanitary conditions and never-ending clutter are common signs of a hoarder. Garbage piles are everywhere throughout the home because the hoarder won’t get rid of anything.

The hoarding creates unsanitary conditions, and health and safety authorities can and will condemn the home.

4. Complete Social Isolation

Complete social isolation is a more severe sign of hoarding. The individual is embarrassed by their living conditions, and they isolate themselves from everyone. The individual doesn’t believe that their loved ones will understand why they choose to live this way.

5. Disorganization and an Inability to Find Anything Useful

Hoarders cannot find items when they need the items. The consistent piling of items causes more disorganization, and the hoarder cannot find items in their home. This leads to poor health, and the individual cannot complete normal daily tasks.

6. Blocked Off Kitchens and Bathrooms

Hoarders have blocked off kitchens and bathrooms. At extreme phases of hoarding, garbage and items block the path to the kitchen and the bathroom.

Severe hoarders use buckets to use the bathroom, and some hoarders no longer bathe. They find alternative and risky ways to prepare foods.

7. Hostility and Agitation When Confronted About Hoarding

The individual exhibits hostility when loved ones confront them about their hoarding practices. Anger and screaming are common, and the hoarder tries to explain why they live this way. The individual becomes irrational and won’t listen to reason.

8. Serious Property Damage Due to Hoarding

Serious property damage happens in all homes where hoarders live. The conditions are suitable for mold and mildew to develop and travel throughout the home undetected. Rodents and roaches infest the home, too. Structural damage occurs, and the homes become unlivable.

Hoarding is classified under hoarding disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder. It drives the individual to save useless items and, ultimately, bury themselves inside their homes. Families that suspect that a loved one is a hoarder are strongly encouraged to review the signs and symptoms thoroughly.

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