Hoarding addiction has gained massive attention over the last decade, thanks to popular shows like Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive. People who were once thought to be packrats or simply “messy” are not seen as victims of a problematic addiction. This begs the question: Are you a hoarder? What is the difference between a hoarder and a collector? Can you be both?
Let’s take a look at some common signs of hoarding addiction so you can seek treatment as needed.
Clutter That Reduces Your Quality Of Life
Clutter itself is not necessarily a sign of hoarding. If you have more necessary belongings than your home will accommodate for, you’re bound to have full shelves and packed closets. However, if your clutter starts to impact your quality of life, you may in fact be a hoarder. If you can no longer access your kitchen or bathroom because of the number of items you have accumulated it is time to seek out therapy for your addiction.
Self-Isolation And Depression
If you feel embarrassed to have people over because of the state of your living conditions, you may turn to self-isolation. Many hoarders find more comfort in their belongings than they do in their relationships with friends and family members. They use shopping and collecting as a form of depression treatment, using “stuff” to fill a void in their lives. If you have become more of an introvert as your “collection” has increased, you may be considered a hoarder.
Disorganization, Both Mentally And Physically
Hoarders often struggle with organization in all areas of life, both in terms of their surroundings and in their train of thought. If you have a hard time finding items in your home or making decisions in your personal life, you may be developing a hoarding addiction. You may even go as far as exemplifying signs of ADHD because of your inattentiveness and lack of focus. As your addiction develops, these symptoms will become more intense and more damaging.
Guilt And Shame
Hoarding addiction is a vicious cycle. Many of the symptoms of hoarding often lead to feelings of guilt and shame, either when people come over or when you bring new items home. For instance, if you suffer from shopping addiction as part of your hoarding, you may feel guilty after everything is unbagged. The hunt for bargains and great deals is invigorating, but it is followed by a terrible downward spiral.
Continue to part 2 of our discussion.