Do you know what hoarding OCD is? If not, you’re not alone. Hoarding OCD is a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder that is characterized by an inability to discard possessions. This can cause severe clutter and chaos in the home, and can seriously impact the quality of life. In this blog post, we will discuss the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for hoarding OCD.
- 1 What Is Hoarding OCD?
- 2 Obsessions And Compulsions In Hoarding OCD
- 3 What Cause Hoarding OCD?
- 4 Are Hoarding OCD And Hoarding Disorder Same?
- 5 What Are The Consequences Of Hoarding OCD?
- 6 How To Get Treatment For Hoarding OCD?
- 7 Conclusion
- 8 A Word From Mantra Care
What Is Hoarding OCD?
Hoarding OCD is a subtype of OCD that is characterized by an excessive need to save or hoard items. People with this disorder may collect items that have no value, such as trash or old newspapers. They may also have difficulty getting rid of things, even if they are no longer needed.
Moreover, hoarding OCD is a separate thing from hoarding disorder. In hoarding OCD, a person experiences intrusive thoughts very frequently about keeping possessions. For example, someone may have a thought that if they do not save this item, something bad will happen. These thoughts can be very distressing and cause a lot of anxiety. People with hoarding OCD often feel like they need to keep their belongings in order to be safe.
More often, people with hoarding OCD are influenced by fear rather than greed. They may worry that they will need the item in the future or that they will not be able to find it again if they get rid of it. This can make it very difficult for them to let go of things, even if they are no longer useful.
For example, they might not donate their belongings to charity because they fear that they will contaminate others. Or maybe they will not throw away a broken item because they think they might need it later.
Obsessions And Compulsions In Hoarding OCD
The symptoms of hoarding OCD are categorized into two types: obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are intrusive, unwanted thoughts that cause anxiety or distress. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental rituals that a person performs to try to relieve the anxiety caused by the obsessions.
Signs of Hoarding OCD Obsessions
Obsessions in hoarding OCD can be related to hoarding can include:
- Intrusive thoughts about losing control or going crazy
- Fear of making mistakes or doing something wrong
- Excessive worry about dirt, germs, or contamination
- Inability to throw things away because you might need them later
Compulsions Related To Hoarding OCD
Compulsions related to hoarding can include:
- Collecting items that are not needed or have no value, such as trash, old newspapers, or food wrappers
- Organizing and rearranging possessions over and over again in a specific way
- Avoiding letting others touch or borrow your possessions
- Buying items in sets for fear that one will be lost or stolen
- Acquiring free items, even if they are not needed
Hoarding OCD is a type of anxiety disorder that is characterized by obsessions and compulsions related to hoarding. If you or someone you know is showing signs of hoarding OCD, it is important to seek professional help.
Moreover, this disorder can be treated with a combination of medication and therapy. If you think you may have hoarding OCD, talk to your doctor or make an appointment with a mental health professional.
What Cause Hoarding OCD?
Hoarding OCD is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some people may be born with a predisposition to the disorder, which is then triggered by stressful life events.
It usually starts in adolescence or young adulthood, but it can begin in childhood or later in life. The disorder tends to run in families, so there may be a genetic component. However, not everyone who has a family member with hoarding OCD will develop the condition themselves.
There are environmental factors that can contribute to the development of hoarding OCD as well. For example, people who have experienced trauma or major life stressors are more likely to develop OCD. This may be because stressful events trigger the obsessions and compulsions that characterize the disorder.
The condition can also be triggered by changes in brain chemistry. imbalances in certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, have been linked to OCD. This suggests that hoarders may have a chemical imbalance that predisposes them to the condition. Moreover, hoarders often have comorbid conditions, such as depression and anxiety, which may also play a role in the development of OCD.
There is no single cause of hoarding OCD. Rather, it is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. If you or someone you know has hoarder OCD, there are treatments available that can help.
Are Hoarding OCD And Hoarding Disorder Same?
These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they aren’t the same thing. OCD is an anxiety disorder that can cause someone to perform repetitive behaviors or have intrusive thoughts. People with hoarding disorder don’t necessarily have OCD, but some people with OCD may develop hoarding disorder.
There are several differences between the two, but the main one is that people with hoarding disorder are unable to part with their possessions, even if they don’t need them or they’re causing clutter and problems in their life. People with OCD may have difficulty getting rid of things because of fears about contamination or making a mistake. But they still recognize that their compulsions and behaviors are excessive and unreasonable.
Some other key differences include;
- Hoarders are more likely to have a family member who also hoards.
- People with OCD are more likely to be aware that their behaviors are irrational. While people with hoarding disorder may not see anything wrong with their behavior.
- People with OCD tend to hoard items that are important to them or have sentimental value. While people with hoarding disorder are more likely to hoard random items.
What Are The Consequences Of Hoarding OCD?
Hoarding OCD can have a number of negative consequences on your life. It is often associated with social isolation and depression. Some of these negative consequences include;
- Difficulty functioning at work or school
- Problems with relationships
- Social isolation
- Health problems
Hoarding OCD can also lead to dangerous and unsanitary living conditions. If you are struggling with hoarding OCD, it is important to seek professional help. It is a type of anxiety disorder that is characterized by an overwhelming need to hoard objects.
People with hoarding OCD often feel a compulsive need to acquire new items, even if they do not need them or have no use for them. They may feel a sense of anxiety or panic when they think about getting rid of their possessions. As a result, their homes become cluttered and filled with items that they do not need.
Some people with hoarding OCD may not even realize that their behavior is problematic. They may believe that their possessions are valuable or necessary, and they may feel extreme anxiety at the thought of getting rid of them. If you are struggling with hoarding OCD, it is important to seek professional help.
How To Get Treatment For Hoarding OCD?
Treatment for hoarding OCD is not as straightforward as it is for other types of OCD. This is because the compulsions associated with hoarding are often related to acquiring and holding on to things. However, there are some tips that can help:
Find a therapist
Therapists are of great help when it comes to treating OCD. If you or someone you know is struggling with hoarding, look for a therapist who specializes in treating OCD. Also, there are two effective options of therapies such as;
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of therapy that can be very effective in treating OCD. CBT focuses on helping people change the way they think about and respond to their compulsions.
- Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is another type of therapy that can be helpful for treating hoarding OCD. ERP involves gradually exposing yourself to the things that trigger your compulsions and then learning to resist the urge to engage in the compulsive behavior.
If you are unable to find a therapist specializing in treating OCD, then try Mantra Care for online CBT with a qualified therapist. For more information, book your free consultation today.
Mantra Care offers expert online CBT for a range of mental health conditions, including OCD. They provide; One-on-one sessions with a qualified therapist, a confidential and supportive environment, affordable pricing plans, and so many things.
Join a support group
Support groups provide an excellent way to connect with others who are going through similar experiences. It is also important to remember that you are not alone in this battle. There are many online and offline support groups available. The support groups can help you:
- Understand your condition
- Learn about treatment options
- Share coping strategies
- Make friends who understand what you’re going through
With these benefits, it is definitely worth considering joining a support group.
Medication can also be helpful for some people with hoarding OCD. The most commonly prescribed medications for OCD are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs work by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain, which can help to reduce OCD symptoms. Moreover, they are usually taken once daily and have fewer side effects than other types of medications.
If you think that medication might be right for you, talk to your doctor about the possibility of starting an SSRI.
Start with baby steps
Making changes can be difficult, especially if you’ve been struggling with hoarding OCD for a long time. But it is important to remember that change is possible. And it often starts with taking small steps. For example, try decluttering one room in your house or getting rid of one type of item that you tend to hoard (e.g., clothes, books, etc.). Or try setting a goal of only acquiring things that you need for a certain period of time.
Making even small changes can be difficult, but this makes huge progress in the long run. So, start today, though it may be slow, and you will get there eventually.
This is an essential part of the battle against hoarding OCD. Some self-help techniques that can be useful are:
- Identifying your triggers: What are the things that trigger your compulsions? Once you know what they are, you can start to work on avoiding them or managing them better.
- Making a list of pros and cons: This can help you to better understand your thoughts and feelings about acquiring and holding on to things. It can also be helpful in making decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of.
- Thinking realistically: It is important to challenge the negative thoughts that contribute to hoarding OCD (e.g., “I need this item” or “I’ll never be able to find another one like this”).
- Practicing a healthy routine: Having a regular sleep schedule, eating healthy meals, and getting regular exercise can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
All of these self-help techniques can be useful in managing hoarding OCD. But it is important to remember that they are only part of the solution.
With professional help, you can develop a comprehensive treatment plan that will address all aspects of your condition. So, if you are struggling with hoarding OCD, don’t hesitate to seek help. It could be the best decision you ever make.
To conclude, hoarding OCD is a type of OCD that is characterized by an excessive need to save or hold on to items. People with this disorder may have difficulty throwing away even useless or broken items. In severe cases, hoarding can lead to significant distress and impairment in day-to-day functioning.
If you think you may have hoarding OCD, it is important to seek professional help. Hence, a therapist who is experienced in treating OCD can work with you to develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs. Thanks for reading!
A Word From Mantra Care
Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.