Hoarding is a serious condition impacting the ability of otherwise-ordinary people to live an average life. While the exact symptoms may vary, hoarding generally includes the excessive collection of new possessions, an inability to part with items, and persistent building up of clutter in the home. Animals such as cats, dogs, and birds are frequently a prime target for hoarders. These symptoms can lead to unsafe conditions for the hoarder and anyone (or thing) that lives with them. Here are five of the top reasons why hoarding is bad.
One of the most significant risks for hoarders and their loved ones is the unsanitary conditions often found in their homes. Refusing to throw away garbage creates the perfect breeding ground for the micro-organisms responsible for making us ill.
The threat of slip-and-fall incidents also increases in the home of a hoarder. The hoarder’s refusal to throw things away frequently results in falls from tripping hazards such as garbage, human waste, and animal excrement.
Pinned by Objects
One of the biggest threats from a fall in a hoarder’s home is the possibility of getting trapped under a mound of garbage. When a hoarder becomes trapped with no way to free themselves, it becomes a race against time for another person to uncover the situation before the victim starves to death or bleeds out.
Another top reason why hoarding is bad is the conflicts it creates. If the situation becomes bad enough, the expressions of concern from family and friends can lead to anger and resentment from the hoarder, making the person less likely to engage with those wanting to offer help.
Mental Health Risks
Hoarding can be its own condition or show up as part of another mental illness. A few of the mental health problems where hoarding may be a symptom include depression, anxiety, ADHD, and OCD. Hoarding can also lead to loneliness and isolation if the hoarder is ashamed or people refuse to come to their home.
There are many resources available to help those suffering from hoarding. Mental health professionals help patients discover the root causes of their hoarding behavior and identify ways to correct the behavior. When the hoarder is ready, they can ask friends and family for help or hire an all-inclusive junk removal service. If animals are involved, the local humane society is an excellent resource for finding assistance as well.