Hoarding is a problem that can only be overcome with help. If you or someone you know is struggling with hoarding, there are professionals who can assist. Here are six types of hoarding Colorado Springs restoration and reconstruction professionals can help with.
1. Compulsive Shopping Hoarding
Compulsive shopping hoarding is a hoarding disorder in which an individual compulsively buys, collects, and hoards items with little to no use or value. This disorder can be caused by various psychological conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. Individuals are often unaware that their buying and hoarding behavior has become excessive, leading to a cluttered home environment that can be detrimental to their mental health. Fortunately, there is help available for those who suffer from compulsive shopping hoarding through cognitive behavioral therapy and other methods of therapy.
2. Pet/Animal Hoarding
Pet/animal hoarding is a serious mental health issue that can lead to tragic consequences for humans and animals. It occurs when someone accumulates an excessive number of animals, often in unsanitary or cramped conditions, providing inadequate care and attention for them. The individual may have neglected to recognize their situation’s cruel reality and will typically believe they are saving the animals from abuse or abandonment.
However, the result is often harmful to both the individual with hoarding disorder and the animal – a fact discovered all too late by animal control workers who must take action to remove them from a hazardous living environment. An animal hoarder may even hold on to animal remains, as they may feel as though they’re still protecting the carcass from a harsher environment outside.
Understanding animal hoarding and other signs of diminished mental health capacity is an important step in preventing a future tragedy.
3. Food Hoarding
Food hoarding is a serious situation for many people. It involves the excessive buying, storing, and consuming of large quantities of food to the point where it takes over everyday life and interferes with other activities. This behavior can stem from an underlying disorder such as anorexia or bulimia or a reaction to past events.
The consequences can be devastating, ranging from sadness and guilt brought on by perceived squandered resources to financial strain caused by a lack of money to pay rent and other essential bills. In some cases, it’s also caused by an abundance of resources that are either free or easily accessible. With the help of trusted friends and family members, those struggling with food hoarding can get the support to find healthy solutions and take control of their eating habits and disorder.
4. Sentimental Hoarding
Sentimental hoarding is a common behavior manifested by an inability to discard objects with emotional attachment, from souvenirs and tokens of remembrance to everyday products and trinkets. This cognitive bias can result from grief or a coping mechanism to deal with personal problems. Such belongings come at the expense of physical space and may also exacerbate depressive symptoms due to heightened anxiety associated with accumulating clutter.
To combat this behavior, it’s essential to understand its causes and triggers while finding effective ways to manage emotions to keep attachments in perspective and let go of items that no longer serve any purpose.
5. Digital Hoarding
Digital hoarding is a term used to describe the tendency for individuals to over-accumulate and store digital data, even when it serves no purpose. The data can potentially become so excessive that it interferes with normal life activities or obligations. This often occurs with email, photos, documents, social media content, and more.
Digital hoarders may find value in the content they are storing and have difficulty discerning what is truly necessary versus what is just taking up space on their electronic devices. It is important to be aware of digital hoarding tendencies so as not to let them interfere with day-to-day life activities. Over time, this could lead to conditions such as anxiety and depression associated with unorganized collections of digital data.
6. Garbage or Rubbish Hoarding
Garbage hoarding, or rubbish hoarding, is a compulsive disorder in which an individual compulsively collects large amounts of garbage and material they don’t need. This can result in the individual’s homes becoming cluttered with stacks of refuse and discarded items, often leading to safety hazards and unpleasant odors.
This disorder can potentially interfere significantly with daily life and activities if not addressed. It may also cause damage to interpersonal relationships due to its adverse effects on mental health, hygiene, and social interactions. It’s vital for those living with this disorder to seek professional help to learn new coping skills and make necessary lifestyle changes to improve their overall well-being.
How to Support Someone with Hoarding Disorder
Hoarding disorder can have real and long-lasting impacts on an individual's life. In some cases, hoarding disorders can lead to depression, anxiety, other mental health issues, and financial problems.
The first step is approaching a loved one with compassion and understanding regarding their hoarding behavior. Aggression or anger may cause the hoarder to retreat further into their disorder. Involving family members, a professional organizer/cleaner, and/or a cognitive behavioral therapist might be necessary to help the hoarder address their disorder in an effective way and regain control.
While most of us can relate to holding on to sentimental items or struggling with a messy desk, for some people, uncontrolled hoarding requires professional intervention. If you or someone you know is struggling with compulsive hoarding, ServiceMaster of Colorado Springs provides resources and support to get your home back to normal. We understand the sensitive nature of hoarder cleanup projects and will work quickly and discreetly to restore your home according to your wishes.
Call (719) 356-3189 today for more information about our hoarding cleanup services.