Essay about Hoarding: Attempt of Affluence, Reality of Affliction

1300 Words6 Pages
William James, known as the “philosopher of America” (Kaila & Kovailanen, 2011), had his own perspective on ownership. In 1918 he described acquisitiveness as “an instinct, something that is part of human nature, present at birth and with us throughout life. This instinct contributes to our sense of self. What is ‘me’ fuses with what is ‘mine,’ and our ‘self’ consists of what we possess” (Frost and Steketee, pp. 48). It seems that even this brilliant mind, who has been considered the father of American psychology, believed that collecting things is a part of human nature. In the western culture, society views the prominent and affluent people as those with large houses, fancy cars, and expensive things, yet those who take attainment…show more content…
Hoarding has widely been considered as a type of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Although people have been compulsively hoarding for years, little has been known about this abnormal behavior until recently. Until the 1990s, minimal research had been done (Steketee, 2010). In the most current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, text revised (DSM-IV-TR), published by the American Psychiatric Association, hoarding is not currently listed as a diagnosable mental disorder. Frost and Hristova (2011) state that because hoarding has been considered as a subtype of OCD, the recent research has lent to the proposition of hoarding being considered as its own separate disorder. It is currently under consideration to be included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition (DSM-V) as a separate diagnosable disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 2000; Frost & Hristova, 2011). In a seminar, Frost and Steketee (2010) asked students about things they owned that they considered meaningful. One student said that her most prized possession was a shirt that was worn by Jerry Seinfeld. When asked if it would have meaning if she did not know if it had been worn by Jerry Seinfeld, she said no. The author then stated that it seemed the student was connecting with something bigger than herself through the item, and that it seemed it was not the object that she valued, but the connection it symbolized (p.

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