Hi, and welcome to this week’s blog post on hoarding.
In this post Stacey and I will be focusing on 3 consequences of hoarding on the person’s well-being.
Many aspects of well-being can be impacted when someone has too much clutter and keeps acquiring material belongings to meet a partly unconscious need.
We’ll start by defining well-being from three perspectives, then we’ll give some tips into how you can support yourself as a hoarder, or your loved one who’s hoarding.
What is well-being?
There are many ways to define the meaning of well-being, a few examples are below:
A person’s lifestyle and behaviour (making sure that you eat and sleep well.)
What we do (or not do) to look after our physical bodies can have an impact on our mental health.
If we exercise, we will be releasing endorphins, dopamine, and other hormones that make us feel good. The opposite will happen if we don’t exercise.
If we get enough sleep, we are allowing our mind to repair and process what went on throughout our day, allowing us to wake up refreshed and ready for what the next day will bring.
Physical well-being also refers to our environment. Where we live and how we organise our space can mean we are thinking clearly or otherwise have “cluttered” thinking, which will mirror the way our home is filled with clutter.
Clearing the clutter will help clear your mind. It’s a parallel process!
Being in control of your thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
When we are in control of our emotions and behaviours, we feel good and we can function in our daily lives.
When things start getting on top of us, we can’t manage simple requests or make decisions that used to be easy for us.
Finding a therapist to work through these things will be helpful in figuring out what’s going on and how to get back on track.
Low social support can also lead to health consequences such as depression and high blood pressure.
Healthy relationships are really important.
A good support system means we have people to turn to in our times of need.
We might turn to family or friends, or professionals such as doctors, psychiatrists, social workers, counsellors, or people at day centres and other health-improving environments.
All 3 types of well-being mentioned above can be affected if you are a hoarder.
To have positive well-being we might need to start seeing life positively and therefore feel good about yourself, your life and relationships.
We would prefer to have the presence of emotions and moods such as happiness and feeling content as opposed to feeling anger, depression and anxiety.
All emotions are valid. All emotions are human.
If we experience our emotions, whatever they are, when they happen, we have a better chance of being happy than if we bottle them up or ignore them.
Hoarding can have a serious negative impact on your well-being.
It can cause anger, resentment and depression within the family and relationships thus affecting your emotional and social well-being.
The negative impact of hoarding can be remedied.
It might take time, effort, mindset change and lots of courage and support from your loved ones, but there is a way to make things better for your life and your relationships.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America, quotes the following example of a person that is suffering from hoarding and it shows that it is having a negative impact on her emotional and social well-being.
“I’ve always had trouble throwing things away. Magazines, newspapers, old clothes… What if I need them one day? I don’t want to risk throwing something out that might be valuable. The large piles of stuff in our house keep growing so it’s difficult to move around and sit or eat together as a family.
My husband is upset and embarrassed, and we get into horrible fights. I’m scared when he threatens to leave me. My children won’t invite friends over, and I feel guilty that the clutter makes them cry. But I get so anxious when I try to throw anything away. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, and I don’t know what to do.”
This lady is suffering from hoarding and this could consequentially lead to her husband divorcing her. It is already causes great stress to her children. Therefore, this is seriously affecting the emotional and social well-being for not just her but also her family.
Her social well-being is being affected due to the fact that her husband is not showing any support and her condition is affecting their relationship. This then leads to a negative impact on her emotional well-being as this will cause depression and she already mentions feeling anxious at the thought of throwing anything away. She clearly needs a strong support system around her.
If you are living in a similar situation or know anybody that is, please do not hesitate to contact us today so that we can provide you with the support that is needed.