In the United States it is estimated that between 2 and 5 percent of people suffer from some hoarding behavior. Below are the signs that will help you decide if you or a loved one might suffer from a hoarding disorder.
1. Parts of the Home Become Unusable
Clutter is simply a part of life for many, but when it forces parts of the home unusable, it is a sign of compulsive hoarding. When things need to be moved to walk through a room, the situation has escalated.
2. Expressing Discomfort About Other People Interacting with Their Belongings
Those that have extreme and often irrational reactions to others handling their belongings are showing signs of hoarding.
3. Home Is Becoming Unsanitary
Piles of dirty dishes and mounds of dirty laundry are very typical of those suffering from a hoarding disorder.
4. They No Longer Organize Their Stuff
When there is no rhyme or reason to the mounds of stuff, there is a problem.
5. They Invest Strong Emotions in Possessions
Those that get emotionally attached to trivial items have a high probability of developing a hoarding disorder.
6. They’ve Become Reclusive or Prefer to Meet Away from Home
Those who have become isolated or always want to avoid meeting at their home are possibly hiding their problem.
7. They Seem to Acquire Many Belongings with No Obvious Use or Value
Piles of newspapers and/or magazines, clothes that will never be worn, and broken appliances are classic signals of a problem.
8. Poor Reaction to Clutter Concerns by Others
Those that become angry over discussing the clutter in their lives are oftentimes attempting to deflect from a real problem.
9. You Have a Lot of Pets
Having a high number of pets doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is a hoarder, nor do all hoarders have a lot of pets. A high number of pets can lead to unhealthy conditions for both animals and people. Animal hoarders have more animals than can be safely managed.
10. Increased Social Isolation
A person that has become withdrawn and anti-social is showing signs of a mental disorder that could lead to compulsive hoarding.
11. Anxiety or Other Mental Illness
Compulsive hoarding is a serious problem that often is associated with other mental issues.
If you or a loved one shows any of these signs, please seek professional help.