Hoarding is more than just an abundance of clutter. Hoarding is a pathological attachment to inanimate objects. It is a mental health issue that manifests itself in the form of collecting items. Oftentimes, those that hoard accumulate things to insulate themselves from the real world.
Hoarding is a serious issue, but not an isolating one. If you feel as though you may be a hoarder yourself, know that you are not alone. Roughly 6 percent of the American population, or 19 million people, suffer from some degree of hoarding. If you think you may be one of these people, read below for active steps you can take to combat this struggle.
Notice the Problem
You may not even realize that you possess traits of hoarding, as it can often be difficult to pinpoint. A few signs that may indicate that you or a loved one are a hoarder include feeling as though you cannot throw away possessions or have extreme difficulty doing so, feeling overwhelmed at the thought of organizing your possessions, or growing suspicious of other people touching your items. However, it’s a complicated disease and can contain many more signs than the ones listed above.
Know when to Call
It’s important to recognize when your actions are a result of hoarding versus a major clutter problem. If you feel as though you can no longer navigate through your living space, or can’t stay organized enough to make your own doctor’s appointments, you may be dealing with a more serious issue. Hoarding is a mental handicap resulting in emotional attachments to physical objects. Those that hoard tend to have a much more difficult time getting rid of their household items. If you feel as though this pertains to you, it may be time to call in the help of a professional.
Who to Call First
Since hoarding is a mental health issue, it should be treated as such. Therapy is a great way to take control of your disease, and slowly return back to a healthy lifestyle. Calling in a professional cleaning service to handle the physical task is also an excellent choice. Companies such as 911Hazmat Cleanup are designed to handle messes of this nature. They understand that cleaning up the home of a hoarder is much more than simply getting rid of their excess of things. Each cleanup is handled professionally, empathetically, and with careful consideration.
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