Hoarding Disorder

Hoarding disorder, also known as compulsive hoarding, is characterized by an excessive collecting or saving of items that leads - in contrast to “ordinary collecting” - to an increasing level of disarray in the living and/or work spaces of those affected, to an increasing level of dysfunction in social and/or occupational areas, and to an increasing disability.

Having to discard some or all of the hoarded items leads in those affected to a high level of discomfort. Even the thought of parting with some of these objects leads in persons with hoarding disorder to an aversive emotional response, e.g. dysphoric mood, anxiety, or irritability.

Most of the hoarded items might be viewed as worthless by other persons, but the persons affected by hoarding disorder experience an overwhelming need to keep those items - either because they might need them in the future and/or might feel uncomfortable or insecure without those items.

Hoarding Disorder: Prevalence

The prevalence of hoarding disorder has been estimated to be about 2 to 5% in the general population.

Hoarding Disorder: Symptoms

Symptoms of hoarding disorder include

Hoarding Disorder: Diagnosis

Hoarding disorder is characterized by the following signs and symptoms:

Hoarding Disorder: DSM-5 300.3

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) included Hoarding Disorder as a discrete disorder in the 5th revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5 (300.3).

Hoarding Disorder: ICD-11 6B44

The World Health Organization (WHO) included Hoarding Disorder in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11 6B24).

Hoarding Disorder: Treatment

In the treatment of hoarding disorder psychotherapy, especially Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and medication might be effective.

Dr. Sandra Elze & Dr. Michael Elze