What Does Hoarding Have to Do with Anxiety?

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Anxiety disorders come in many different forms. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (better known as “OCD), generalized anxiety disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and phobias are all anxiety disorders that most people have heard of at some point. These disorders tend to be featured in the news more than conditions like paruresis (which involves being so anxious that one becomes physically unable to use the bathroom if someone else is nearby).

One interesting behavior that many people are taking notice of is hoarding. Hoarding, while not an anxiety disorder itself, can be a manifestation of anxiety. This means that someone who has a certain anxiety disorder (such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) may be more likely to develop hoarding tendencies.

Hoarding involves feeling extreme anxiety when you attempt to throw something away. Some people become attached to specific objects while others will “collect” a random assortment of items.

There can be an emotional attachment to the items hoarding. Most people who hoard have a variety of excuses for keeping the items. Some become highly offended or distressed when other people suggest they get rid of the items.

One of the issues with hoarding is that it often creates relationship problems for the person who engages in the behavior. Someone who is married may find his or her spouse annoyed by the hoarding. Hoarders who have children may collect so much that their home becomes hazardous.

Neighbors of people with hoarding issues can also become very exasperated and even angry at the hoarder.

For more information about hoarding as an anxiety problem, visit the link below.

http://www.aikenstandard.com/article/20130819/AIK0107/130819400/hoarding-is-anxiety-disorder-items-offer-a-sense-of-security

Photo Credit: Earthworm via Compfight cc

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