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Explains hoarding, including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support. Includes tips for helping yourself, and guidance for friends and family.
You might be given a diagnosis of hoarding if you:
If you experience these symptoms, doctors or healthcare professionals may give you a diagnosis of hoarding disorder, which is a fairly new term. They might also call it compulsive hoarding.
But it is important to remember that hoarding can be different for everyone. You might recognise some of the signs and symptoms listed above, but you might also have other experiences or difficulties that aren't included here.
"I kept lots of [clean] packaging as school kept asking for stuff for junk modelling, and I liked to do crafts with my daughter. Slowly things built up and my dining table was completely covered, so we could not actually do the craft stuff."
Everyone will have a different experience of hoarding and it's possible to hoard any type of item. But here are some examples of things people commonly hoard.
You might buy or save lots of:
It's particularly common to hoard items in your home, but you might use other spaces such as a car, garage or storage unit too. You might also hoard things that aren't objects, such as digitally or online, for example keeping lots of emails.
"I still have items at my parents which I have been finding it really hard to sort through, my garage is full, and a spare bedroom is unusable."
You might save things other people see as worthless or of limited value, or have important and unimportant things mixed up together. This might cause you distress, or it might be how you prefer to arrange your belongings.
This information was published in September 2018. We will revise it in 2021.
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