When you think of addiction, you normally envision drug addicts, alcoholics, smokers or even gamblers, but there are other addictions that an individual can fall victim to such as hoarding addiction.
Hoarding often starts out as “collecting” or “stockpiling”, but some individuals develop an obsessive behavior in relation to their collecting, go overboard and continue to acquire more items to the point of completely disrupting the lives of the entire family.
When the home begins to resemble a flea-market and becomes non-functional as a viable living space, the person is described as having a hoarding addiction because they are unable to control their compulsive behavior despite these negative consequences.
A fine line exists between pack rat and hoarder, but one main difference is that a pack rat maintains some resemblance of order in the home and leads a normal life. The hoarder; however, will often suffer depression and low self-esteem as a result of the family discord that has developed and becomes withdrawn or anti-social.
Another difference between a pack rat and hoarding addiction is evident in the type of items collected. Most pack rats collect items that have some sort of special meaning to them and are specific in the way they store and maintain the items. A hoarder collects random things without regard to any special meaning or need or function. They consider the items they collect to be “treasures” but have no idea why.
Hoarding addiction is not just a bad habit; it is a compulsive brain disorder and is often associated with or accompanied by OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), social anxiety, depression, autism, impulse control disorders or depression.
Clearly, hoarding addiction is not something that will simply go away by yelling, threatening or arguing with the hoarder. The most effective method for treating the hoarding addiction condition is to seek help from professional addiction specialists.