Essay on Compulsive Hoarding and Dr. Randy Frost

803 Words Nov 7th, 2008 4 Pages
Hoarding is defined as the acquirement of, and inability to discard worthless items even though they appear to have no value. Hoarding behaviors can occur in a variety of psychiatric disorders and in the normal population, but are most commonly found in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Those people who report compulsive hoarding as their primary type of OCD, who experience significant distress or functional impairment from their hoarding, and who also have symptoms of indecisiveness, procrastination, and avoidance, are classified as having compulsive hoarding syndrome (www.ocfoundation.com). An estimated 700,000 to 1.4 million people in the United States are thought to have compulsive hoarding syndrome.
Compulsive hoarding is
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They diagnose the compulsive hoarding syndrome according to three criterions. First, the accumulation of useless possessions and failure to discard them can be a sign of the disorder. Compulsive hoarders have an obsessive need to accumulate and save many objects, and also have a tremendous anxiety about throwing them away. This is because of a supposed need for the objects and their value or an unnecessary emotional attachment to them. If they have any doubt at all about the value of an object, compulsive hoarders will keep it, “just in case” (www.rd.com). A Second criterion, according to Dr. Randy Frost, is living spaces of the person are so cluttered that the rooms cannot be used for their original design. For example, one cannot use the toilet because items are stored in it. Obviously, with lots of items coming into the home and very few going out, the clutter will accumulate. It does not take long for the clutter to start spreading onto the floors, counter tops, hallways, stairwells, even to the garage. Beds become so cluttered that there is no room to sleep. Kitchen counters become so cluttered that food cannot be prepared. For many hoarders, it gets to a point where there might be only a narrow pathway that connects each room, and the rest of the house is piled several feet high with clutter. This clutter can not only be a hindrance, but can also be very dangerous. The dust, mildew, mold, and rat droppings commonly found in extreme clutter can irritate
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