Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Randy O. FrostWhat possesses someone to save every scrap of paper thats ever come into his home? What compulsions drive a woman like Irene, whose hoarding cost her her marriage? Or Ralph, whose imagined uses for castoff items like leaky old buckets almost lost him his house?
Randy Frost and Gail Steketee were the first to study hoarding when they began their work a decade ago; they expected to find a few sufferers but ended up treating hundreds of patients and fielding thousands of calls from the families of others. Now they explore the compulsion through a series of compelling case studies in the vein of Oliver Sacks. With vivid portraits that show us the traits by which you can identify a hoarders piles on sofas and beds that make the furniture useless, houses that can be navigated only by following small paths called goat trails, vast piles of paper that the hoarders churn but never discard, even collections of animals and garbage; Frost and Steketee illuminate the pull that possessions exert on all of us. Whether were savers, collectors, or compulsive cleaners, very few of us are in fact free of the impulses that drive hoarders to the extremes in which they live.
For all of us with complicated relationships to our things, Stuff answers the question of what happens when our stuff starts to own us.
Stop the Slide from Clutter Into Hoarding
It has been suggested that attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD and obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD , both neurodevelopmental disorders with onset in childhood, are highly comorbid, but previous studies examining ADHD and OCD comorbidity have been quite variable, partly because of inconsistency in excluding individuals with tic disorders. Similarly, ADHD has been postulated to be associated with hoarding, although this potential relationship is largely methodologically unexplored. This study aimed to examine the prevalence of ADHD among individuals with childhood-onset OCD but without comorbid tic disorders, as well as to examine the relationship between clinically significant hoarding behaviors hoarding and ADHD. ADHD prevalence rates and the relationship between ADHD and hoarding were examined in OCD-affected individuals probands and 41 relatives, age range 4—82 years recruited for genetic studies and compared to pooled prevalence rates derived from previously published studies. OCD is highly comorbid with many psychiatric disorders, including other anxiety, depressive, and tic disorders 2 — 4. Elucidating the relationship between these disorders will aid in appropriate diagnosis and treatment of these childhood-onset disorders, and will also advance our understanding their etiologies.
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Magazines, newspapers, old clothes… What if I need them one day? My husband is upset and embarrassed, and we get into horrible fights. But I get so anxious when I try to throw anything away. This example is typical of someone who suffers from hoarding. Read on to learn more, including the differences between hoarding and collecting. Hoarding is the persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value.
First comes a pile. Then comes clutter. Learn why ADHD brains are prone to slipping down the slope into hoarding — and how to dig yourself out of the piles of stuff. Research shows that while many people who are compulsive hoarders have attention deficit disorder ADHD or ADD , the reverse is not true. People with ADD are not typically hoarders. Nor are they on some kind of disorganization spectrum that ends up in the mental disorder called hoarding.
Hoarding is a serious issue that goes far beyond being disorganized. It's estimated that between 2 and 5 percent of the U. But the question has always remained, especially to those of us who have struggled to keep up with the tide of stuff in our homes: What's the difference between being a "pack rat" and being a full-on hoarder? Annette Perot , a licensed psychologist who specializes in anxiety issues and hoarding. This goes beyond bringing in a random vintage find that you intend to use as a holiday decoration, for example. But for those who have hoarding tendencies, acquisition is an emotional experience. Hartford Hospital's Anxiety Disorders Center notes that those with compulsive hoarding have feelings of distress when they see something they want, and can't feel better until the object is in their possession.