Hi, and welcome to this week’s blog post, which is a continuation of last week’s post (focusing on the individual).
In this post, we will focus on the possible causes (and consequences) for hoarding and understanding that everybody is different and there could be many reasons as to why the person is hoarding.
Different people will have different explanations for their own experiences and causes for hoarding and it is likely that there is a a combination of reasons.
These reasons are not clear-cut and they might be influencing one another, at different points of the individual’s life.
According to the Mental Health Charity Mind, the following could be the possible causes for hoarding (click on each of the links for more on those particular issues):
- Difficult feelings
- Perfectionism and worrying
- Childhood experiences
- Trauma and loss
- Family history or habits
- Other mental health problems
According to healthline:
“A person may begin to hoard because they believe an item that they have collected, or are considering collecting, may be valuable or useful at some point in time. They may also connect the item with a person or significant event that they don’t want to forget.”
This quote points towards the person’s reasons for hoarding, which might be something as reasonable as “I might need it later”, even though they don’t really ever use it.
Other times it might be the way a person grieves the loss of a loved one. Collecting items they might have liked or that they link to their loved one is a way to keep them a part of their lives.
Mind mention that, through working with a therapist in sessions, a person may be able to link the start of their hoarding to a stressful event or period in their life, such as:
- being abused or attacked
- breaking up with a partner
- becoming very unwell
- someone close to you dying
- feeling extremely lonely.
For some people, experiences like these can also lead to an increase in existing hoarding, when hoarding has already begun.
Also, hoarding might have started with a trauma or another untreated mental health problem, but it might also bring up other mental health issues that will need to be addressed.
Some of these are:
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- bipolar disorder
- psychosis, including schizophrenia
- obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD).
In these situations, hoarding is usually seen as a symptom and acts as a coping mechanism and is not the main diagnosis.
As we mentioned above, it’s not as clear-cut as it seems.
Sometimes hoarding can be the symptom, other times it’s the mental health issue or traumatic event that take precedence.
Listening to the client’s story, paying attention to the triggers of hoarding AND of the mental health issues will help us deal with them in a timely fashion, addressing all the aspects of the individual’s life that need our support, in order to get the client back to living as healthy a life as possible.
With our collaboration, we will focus on understanding the person as an individual, getting to the root cause as to why they are hoarding, through in-depth therapeutic support, as well as providing thorough practical help in order to help to create a safer environment, both physically and mentally.
If you or your loved one need support, don’t hesitate to contact Stacey Sabido from Serenity for You, to start the process.
Declutter & donate your unwanted items to Shelter.
You can make a difference to improving someone’s life.
Contact Stacey for more info!