Compulsive Hoarding: A Stifled Chaos Essay

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Addiction can be a disorder filled with denial and regret, and is often sparked by one’s free will. Children are taught, as early as elementary school, to abstain from drugs and alcohol, which constitute the two of the largest culprits of addiction. Naturally, when one ponders addiction, his or her mind automatically travels to the realm of addictive substances, and does not consider what else may constitute as an addiction. What about an addiction affecting nearly a million Americans that does not involve choice? It is an addiction so mysterious that a significant percentage of sufferers go undiagnosed due to hidden mounds of unnecessary clutter. According to Randy Frost and Tamara Hartl, hoarding is medically defined as “the acquisition …show more content…
Much less common, but possibly far more extreme than compulsive hoarding is the hoarding of animals. Hoarders may reside in their home with a strikingly high number of dogs or cats, in some cases reaching the hundreds. Caught up in the chaos of the disorder, they may continue to live in their home with rotting corpses of their deceased pets, unable to dispose of them in a proper fashion (Claiborn). As hoarding appears in a variety of fashions, the actual items being hoarded are also variable. Items that a normal person may collect out of sport are typically hoarded in excessive amounts, such as stamps or tax records. Commonly hoarded items of compulsive sufferers include excessive amounts of papers or documents, such as brochures, junk mail, newspapers, wrappers, and shopping lists. More often than not, these items are of very little realistic importance (Claiborn). Because hoarding is often either directly or indirectly associated with a person’s inability to let go, items such as food products, clothing, books, craft materials, or even broken items that need to be fixed are commonly stockpiled. In the reality-warped mind of a hoarder, each of these items is of significant value and could be put to future use in some way. Therefore, it is absolutely imperative that the items be saved and never discarded (Claiborn).
The reality of a hoarder’s lifestyle is fairly difficult to comprehend unless one takes a deeper look. Take prime subject Langley Collyer, for

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