Hoarding is an abnormal collection of unuseful things. Persons who may have such hoarding problems are usually older people-some may be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, mental retardation, neurodegenerative disorders, people who suffered from traumatic injury, or people who seem to have been depressed because of a death of a loved one or from broken relationships. These people tend to cling on to certain items which they think will let them remember an even or a lost loved one. Getting rid of them is out of the question. They would feel like you will be ending their life completely.
Some of us may have issues on collecting things, but to some extent, the quantity of the collected items may be reasonable probably for future use or just plainly collecting it. The collection of things becomes abnormal when the collector would just be buying things without really thinking of whether it will really be useful to him or not. Once this goes on, clutter in the home will ensue. Cluttered house with these items may seem to do more harm than what we can really think about. Because, a collector, who becomes a hoarder, refuses to get rid of the stuff. His focus is just mainly in collecting. He disregards cleaning of the house and sometimes, even having to eat proper meals since the accumulation of these items does not enable him to clean the house thoroughly, thus, some rats would be living with him, too!
Old people, either suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or some degenerative neuropathic disorder would stay away from other people. They would have revolved their lives around these collections of items, replacing their real relationship to their loved ones from these tangible, but lifeless objects. Just imagine how unhappy it can be when their loved ones must have given up on trying in persuading these hoarders to live their life like they used to.
Intervention is indeed a must before it gets too late. Once that health is at risk, these hoarders should really be given help at once. It may be painful for these hoarders to see their things being thrown out. They feel that half of their lives are on that stuff. There really is no treatment for hoarding. The only way is to try to convince the hoarder that what he has been doing is something that he does not need in his life. A rehabilitation program, in the form of a support group may be of help. But it may take more than 3 months to see good results. A person who hoards does not know what he is doping with his life. All his focus is on taking in things that would make him feel comfortable and safe. Feeling unloved by his family might also be triggered with this.
I have seen older people in the United States where they are left alone: their kids have gotten their own families and so they have decided to live in a different house. The independence that these people have been taught early on in their lives and in one point, it helps. But when it comes to the old age of their parents, I think they should think more of them than just let them live on their own. An old person who does not have anyone around most of the time, tend to focus on things which he will feel secure.
The pain of the past has been known to be the most common cause of hoarding. That, instead of going through depression, they found ways on uplifting themselves in the form of collecting items that reminds them of the happy times.
The treatment may not be cured by any form of medicine. The only treatment I know of is providing enough time with that person (hoarder) and let him feel that more than those items that he has collected, the love of his family is more valuable.