How to Overcome Hoarding: Breaking Free from Clutter and Stress

Overcome Hoarding

and Health

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the clutter and possessions taking over your home? If you have difficulty parting with possessions and have difficulty organizing your home and your life, you may be suffering from hoarding.

Hoarding is a disorder that affects more than 15 million people across the United States and can cause severe emotional and physical stress, as well as serious health hazards. Below is a detailed guide to help you decipher hoarding symptoms, and understand how to find support and take back control of your life.

What is Hoarding?

Hoarding is a disorder that can cause individuals to accumulate an excessive amount of items and have difficulty parting with them. An individual suffering from hoarding finds it difficult to categorize, arrange, and dispose of items. This excessive accumulation of possessions typically causes emotional turmoil, mental distress, and heightened levels of stress.

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Recognizing Hoarding Symptoms

The root cause of hoarding is typically emotional or traumatic, however the disorder manifests in several ways:

  • Compulsive Shopping: Constantly buying items regardless of whether or not you have a need for them.
  • Inability to Discard Possessions: This includes items that are broken, damaged, or no longer being used.
  • Avoidance of Areas: Trying to avoid certain areas of your living space where the items are stored.
  • Loss of Control: Giving in to behaviors such as “rescuing” items despite having no need for them or not having the means to store them.
  • Isolation: Avoids visitors or visitors are forbidden from certain areas of the living space.

The Impact of Hoarding

Hoarding can impact the physical, mental and emotional health of an individual in a negative way. Possible impacts of hoarding can include:

  • Physically Unsafe Home: The accumulated clutter can create a dangerous environment where individuals may have difficulty leaving the home in case of an emergency.
  • Lack of Space: Individual’s living space can quickly become overrun with hoarded items, leaving little to no room to move around.
  • Social Isolation: An individual may avoid visitors to their home out of anxiety or embarrassment about the hoarded items.
  • Mental Health Concerns: An individual suffering from hoarding may be more prone to suffer from depression, anxiety and stress-related health issues.

Breaking Free from Clutter, Stress and Health

Hoarding is a difficult disorder to overcome, however, there are steps an individual can take to regain control of their lives, such as:

  • Talk to a Professional: Talking to a qualified professional, such as a psychologist or counselor can help address the origin of the hoarding behavior and provide the necessary help in taking steps that will help an individual to stop the behaviors.
  • Seek Support: It helps to have a support system in place to help an individual through the tough times. Additionally, there are support groups available which can provide advice, tips, and referrals for hoarding.
  • Organize Your Space: Overcoming hoarding requires an organized lifestyle to prevent items and possessions from accumulating.
  • Take it Step by Step: Breaking free from hoarding starts by taking small steps. Focus on one area and work on de-cluttering and organizing that area before moving on to the next one.
  • Focus on Productivity: Focus on activities that will improve the situation instead of ruminating on the past. Practice future-focused activities such as mindfulness meditation.

Taking the steps to overcome hoarding can help an individual to have control over their lives and have a healthier lifestyle. If you or someone you know is suffering from hoarding, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. There is hope and you can break free from the cluttered, stressful lifestyle.

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