How to Tell if You’re a Hoarder and What to Do About it
It seems like, lately, a lot of my patients come in with the same problem: they have a hard time getting rid of their possessions. At first, it starts harmlessly: they keep old childhood knick-knacks or arts & crafts their children made, and eventually it piles up until they have a stack of old papers, and objects that they never use. They always come to me knowing there might be a problem, but afraid of what it might entail to fix it. And I always have to tell them the truth: getting attached to your possessions is easy, but letting go is very difficult.
It’s so challenging that hoarding is actually classified as a mental illness, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. That’s because, just like any other illness, it comes with numerous health consequences, to the six million Americans that have hoarding problems.