All About The Hoarding Syndrome

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The Hoarding Syndrome is characterized as the "excessive collecting and saving behaviors that result in a cluttered living space and significant distress or impairment" (Frost and Hart, 1996). Hoarding symptoms often begin between the ages of 10-13 (Mackin, Arean, Delucchi, & Matthews, 2011) but does not "discriminate in terms of age, gender, educational levels, or socioeconomic status" (Singh & Jones, 2013). However, researchers have found a very strong association between having a family member who has a compulsive hoarder and coming a hoarder yourself (Mayo Clinic, 2014). Stressful life events, a history of alcohol abuse, and social isolation are also risk factors associated with the hoarding syndrome (Mayo Clinic, 2014). "Hoarding…show more content…
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV (DSM) classified hoarding as a symptom of obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCD) (Singh and Jones 2013) and has been treated as such. The hoarding syndrome being classified as only a symptom of a disorder has led to little attention for this condition. "However, studies have been conducted to differentiate hoarding disorder from obsessive compulsive disorder which has influenced the development and inclusion of the distinct diagnostic category of hoarding disorder within the new DSM V"(Singh, Jones. 2013). From this, research of the hoarding syndrome has increased over the years but is still not as known as it should be to the public. Hoarding ranges from mild to sever (Mayo Clinic). A very severe case of the hoarding syndrome is classified as severe compulsive hoarding (SCH) and can be sub-type with other conditions(later life depression), similar to the hoarding syndrome (OCD). The SCH can be defined as "a behavioral syndrome typically defined as the excessive acquisition of and inability or unwillingness to discard seemingly useless items, causing significant distress or functional impairment, and resulting in living and/or work spaces that are unusable for their intended purposes" (Mackin, Arean, Delucchi, & Matthews, 2011). SCH has been associated with an increased risk of morbidity and mortality,
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