Signs and Symptoms of Hoarding

People who hoard feel compelled to acquire or save items that others may consider worthless. They may stock up on items at garage sales or rummage through other people's trash. They often spend lots of time moving items in their home from one pile to another, without actually discarding anything. They may be so preoccupied by all their clutter and belongings that they don't socialize with family or friends.

Hoarding affects emotions, thoughts and behavior. Signs and symptoms of hoarding may include:

  • Inability to discard items
  • Acquiring unneeded or seemingly useless items
  • Keeping stacks of newspapers, magazines or junk mail
  • Saving trash or used food containers
  • Cluttered living spaces
  • Impairment of daily activities
  • Procrastination
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Perfectionism
  • Difficulty organizing items
  • Forming attachments to possessions rather than people
  • Restricting others from touching or borrowing possessions

If a person exhibits some or most of these signs, one should seek outside help.

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