Warning Signs of Hoarding

Learn the causes, risk factors, and symptoms of hoarding.

By Reader's Digest Editors

If you’ve seen the A&E TV show, Hoarders, you’ve seen what it looks like to have your life consumed by “stuff.” For hoarders, and for the people who love them, this condition can be debilitating. In the house of a hoarder, nearly ever inch of space is stacked with clutter, which hoarders believe they cannot throw away for fear that they may need it later or because it holds some sort of emotional significance.

According to the Mayo Clinic, some key symptoms to watch out for if you believe you or someone you know may be a hoarder are:

  • Cluttered living spaces
  • Moving items from one pile to another without the ability to throw anything away
  • Acquiring useless items, including trash, newspapers, and magazines
  • Emotional attachment to possessions
  • Cutting off social interactions

If you believe someone you know has a hoarding problem it is best to get help from a professional. Fugen Neziroglu, PhD, co-author of Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding, encourages family members to confront hoarders about the problem with the help of an experienced therapist. Experts like Neziroglu caution that disposing of a person’s belongings without permission can lead to trauma for the hoarder.

Learn more signs of hoarding

Source: Mayo Clinic

Plus: How to Know When Your Clutter is Out of Control

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