National Hoarding Awareness Week

Posted on the 23rd May 2019

This week is National Hoarding Awareness Week across the UK.

It is estimated that 1.2 million people in the UK may be affected by hoarding.

Collecting and saving our possessions is a normal human behaviour, but for some adults it can get out of control. When collecting and saving is severe, it can not only affect the individual and their family, but make the home unsafe and potentially damage relations with neighbours.

Hoarding can be defined as:
• Not being able to part with possessions even if they do not have a ‘value’
• Strong urges to save items
• Feelings of distress and anxiety about discarding possessions
• Collecting a large number of possessions that fill up rooms in the home or workplace so they cannot be used for their intended purpose e.g. you can’t cook in the kitchen or sleep in the bedroom.

There are many reasons why people collect; from childhood trauma and isolation to bereavement and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and in May 2013 hoarding became a recognised mental disorder.
Hoarding can lead to feelings of shame and embarrassment. The decluttering process can be very traumatic for a hoarder, as often a deep attachment is formed with their belongings so getting rid of things can lead to feelings of bereavement, loss, anxiety and a lack of control.

Helping someone to declutter their home whilst enabling them to access the right psychological support can be of great benefit to everyone involved, as not only does it reduce the fire risk, but it can also help an individual regain their confidence and reduce their sense of shame.

For advice and support with hoarding visit:

https://hoardinguk.org/

https://www.care4freedom.org/

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/hoarding/#.XOga7U1YaAg

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hoarding-disorder/

 

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