Did you know hoarding is a disease?

While I was working out at the gym last week I happened to catch a segment on the Dr. Oz Show about people who have a hoarding problem. I was surprised to learn that 4% of the population have this “disease” which means they probably can’t control it without professional help. The problem can be hereditary, so if your parents are pack rats you might be more likely to be one as well.

Since I recently blogged about hoarding I thought people might be interested in seeing the clip. You can find it here:   segment on hoarding (it’s about 11.5 minutes long)


4 thoughts on “Did you know hoarding is a disease?

  1. “Amongst the new disorders proposed, hoarding may be added to the category of obsessive-compulsive illnesses as its own disorder.”


    I don’t believe research has yet shown evidence of biological causation, but it has definitely shown a correlation of the problem within families. Is this nature or nurture though?

    • I could see the argument for nature or nurture going both ways. I’m sure there are people who grow up with hoarding parents who go to the opposite extreme and live a sparse life. On the other hand I know of people who are as bad of pack rats as their parents. Thanks for sharing more definitive data than what I saw on the show.

  2. I own a company specializing in working with hoarders to clean up their property. People generally hoard because they become emotionally tied to their belongings. Many have links to the depression, have had troubled childhoods, or one of many other numerous contributing factors. Regardless of this, clean up becomes difficult becasue of the personal attachment that a person has to their stuff. The first step is talking to the client to help them understand the way in which the stuff they insist on hoarding is actually harming them, and slowly working towards helping them break this bond; only then will a hoarder be able to part with their “prized possessions”.

    • I’m sure it is very difficult for people to let go. I’m sure they feel a great relief when their burden is gone. I”m sure it is very rewarding, though I’m sure challenging, for you to help people with this issue.

      Thanks for sharing.

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