Symptoms And Treatment Of OCD Hoarding

Hoarding is a common behavioral issue associated with obsessive and compulsive disorder. This is also known as compulsive hoarding or compulsive hoarding syndrome. People suffering from this disorder will collect many items and will not be able to discard them. This might also lead to more clutter in the home and to issues with space and hygiene. In general the whole house and places like sinks, countertops, desks, stoves, and all surfaces will be filled with various items.

Hoarding affects the emotions, behavior and thoughts. Some of the symptoms which are related to it are:

  • Cluttered living space
  • Limited or no social interactions
  • Inability to discard items
  • Excessive attachment to possessions including discomfort associated with letting others touch or borrow possessions
  • Keeping stacks of newspapers, magazines and junk mail
  • Shame and embarrassment
  • Collecting unwanted things even from trash and also from restaurants
  • Difficulty with organizing items
  • Difficulty with managing daily activities
Generally people will collect items because they might be useful in the future. An object will also be collected if the person thinks that it is emotionally important. Sometimes people will feel safer by seeing the things that they have hoarded. It is not like collecting stamps, coins and other things. Hoarding is something different. In this activity, people will collect random items.

If any person exhibits the symptoms which are related to compulsive hoarding then immediate treatment should be administered to get rid of the problem.


Treatment will be started if the person is confirmed to have the disorder. The disorder will be confirmed through some diagnostic process. The treatment will be based on the diagnosis. The treatment should be done by a well-trained therapist who has experience in working with such patients. The treatment for compulsive hoarding is generally a tough task which might have mixed results. The most effective and the most important treatment for hoarding is psychotherapy which can be combined with medication.


The type of psychotherapy which is generally used to treat hoarding disorder is cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy will typically:

  • Make you explore why you feel compelled to hoard
  • Help for improving your decision-making skills
  • Help you learn to organize possession in order to decide which one to discard
  • Teach you relaxation skills and help you get sufficient practice
  • Teach you to use self help if the urge to hoard is severe
  • Advise you to have periodic visits to the doctor in order to stay healthy
  • Medications

There are many institutes which are continuing their research on identifying the best medication for the treatment of hoarding. As of now the anti-depressants which are known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like paroxetine are prescribed by the doctors to treat the hoarding problem.

« Prev Post