Hoarding is a psychiatric condition in which individuals have a difficult time discarding items that others would deem useless or valueless, like string, bottle caps, and newspaper. In addition, many individuals with hoarding experience an overwhelming compulsion to acquire such items, either by purchasing, collecting, or stealing. In some cases, hoarding results in the excessive collection of animals.
As a result of unreasonable saving and/or acquiring, individuals with hoarding often live in settings with unhealthy amounts of clutter and may be responsible for cluttering up multiple properties and storage units.
Hoarding often causes significant distress to the sufferer and loved ones, and excessive collection can result in filthy conditions. Saved food and unsanitary confines attract diseased pests, and storing loads of combustible material dramatically increases the risk of fire hazard.
While many individuals exhibit some degree of hoarding tendencies, it becomes a problem when the symptoms cause significant distress or impairment in functioning to the self or others.
With sufficient motivation for change, individuals with hoarding can respond to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) specifically tailored to hoarding symptoms. Given the nature of the syndrome, CBT Baltimore is available for home treatment. In some cases, intensive treatment options may be necessary for exposure and decluttering efforts.