Last time we took a look at answering why people hoard in depth. This time on the BIOClean Team blog we’re going to be doing a rapid-fire response FAQ, to answer any lingering questions you may have about hoarding.
Note: It’s important for us to disclaim – The BIOClean Team provides information but it is never a replacement or substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment from a professional. We do not intend it as such, and it is not implied to be a replacement for professional help.
How to Stop Hoarding?
Hoarding disorder is a real condition that can’t just be switched off like a light. Like other mental health disorders it requires professional treatment and assistance in diagnosing, identifying, and managing the triggers and symptoms.
How Many Animals is Considered Hoarding?
Some places may put a number on animals that considered hoarding, such as over a dozen, but the simplest and clearest way to define animal hoarding is this:
- A person owning more than the normal number of animals
- The person being unable to provide the minimal standards of care for the animals (including nutrition, shelter, sanitation, and vet care)
- The person is in denial of their inability to provide this care and the impact it has on the animals, themselves, and the home.
To understand animal hoarding more in-depth, check out this article put together by the ASPCA.
How to Treat Hoarding?
So far, cognitive behavioral therapy seems to be the most effective treatment for those who suffer from hoarding disorder. It isn’t as effective as it can be in treating other disorders, but it’s something.
The American Psychological Association has an article for more information on treating hoarding disorder.
How to Deal with Hoarding Parents (or Grandparents, Uncles, Children, Siblings, etc.)?
When it comes to interacting with someone you worry suffers from hoarding disorder, it’s best to approach it from a place of compassion. Many of those who have hoarding disorder are aware that there is a problem, but feel ashamed and unable to break the cycle. Raise your concerns, avoid passing judgment, and offer help. Keep in mind they may be unwilling to change. Do your best to offer and suggest help, including treatment, but it is a difficult disorder to break free of.
How Does Hoarding Start?
We talked about this a bit last time, but it seems that hoarding typically starts in younger adults and the severity of it increases with age. Sometimes it starts with a traumatic life event that the person is unable to cope with. The hoarding starts with the person buying or otherwise acquiring items they don’t have obvious use for. Maybe an extra kitchen appliance because ‘It’s a deal!’ or ‘You never know!’ Both of these statements show that there isn’t an obvious need or purpose for the item, but the person is getting them anyway.
Why Are People Hoarding Toilet Paper?
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a worry that as things shut down, there’d be shortages of some necessities. Toilet paper seems to be the one that got singled out the most, as such more people bought excessive quantities of toilet paper, just in case. Because so many did this at once, it created an artificial scarcity – there was plenty of toilet paper to go around, but a larger number of people were buying it bulk to keep themselves stocked, making it harder for others to find and when they did find it, they were more inclined to purchase more to avoid running out again. It was a circle of artificially inflated demand.
But it wasn’t hoarding in the way that we handle hoarding cleanup. This wasn’t based on the hoarding disorder to be sure.
How to Cure Hoarding?
As mentioned earlier, hoarding disorder isn’t fully understood and there doesn’t seem to be any cure for hoarding. The best hope is for treatment to help manage the behavior.
There’s one last thing to talk about when it comes to hoarding – the clean-up!
Hoarding creates dangerous environments to live in and to try and clean. When it comes time to clear out the waste and clutter, seek the services of a professional and compassionate cleaning company. The BIOClean Team is just that.