Causes of Hoarding

Causes of Hoarding

Like many mental illnesses, hoarding prompts difficult questions from family and friends. Some of these are outward-looking, trying to figure out how or where the hoarder went wrong; others are inward-accusing, questioning if they are to blame.

The answers to these questions, however, are more complex than pinpointing one causal event or person. Rather, there are a number of risk factors that, when put together, make a person more susceptible to developing Hoarding Disorder.

  • Genetics   

According to a study published in 2009 by the Institute of Psychiatry in London, if you struggle with hoarding, you can blame your parents. Their research indicated that genetic predisposition may be the single-largest risk factor for developing this disorder, with men nearly twice as vulnerable as women. However, as with all mental disorders, genetics are not sufficient to cause hoarding, rather, they render an individual more susceptible to other factors.

  • Family history

People who had chaotic home lives as children, who moved frequently, or who had a parent that was a hoarder are more likely to develop Hoarding Disorder later in life. The symptoms are often present as early as 13, but do not manifest themselves in their full severity until later in life, often 40 or older.

  • Psychological disorders

People with other psychological disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and OCD are at much greater risk for developing Hoarding Disorder than individuals who are happy and well-adjusted. They also complicate the process of overcoming the disorder and should be identified and treated as comorbid conditions.

  • Cognitive processing

Brain scans show that people with Hoarding Disorder have abnormal activity in areas of the frontal lobe associated with attention, memory, impulse-control, reward-value, and decision-making. Because these complications make the process of getting rid of items difficult or unpleasant, some patients choose not to do it at all.

Hoarding Causes | Go Junk Free America!

  • Insecurity

Some hoarders keep items because they simply feel safer with their belongings surrounding them. When they go to throw something away, they think about how they might need or want it in the future, which gives them greater emotional disincentive to discard the object. They may also hang on to objects that they feel will remind them of people or events.

  • Guilt

Some hoarders feel guilty throwing things away or not buying things that are a bargain. They are overly-preoccupied with waste and try to save everything they think might have a future use.

  • Distorted reality

Hoarders often have a distorted sense of reality, in which items become anthropomorphized and/or take on a much greater emotional value than would normally be warranted. They often cannot see the extent to which their practices are harming themselves or others and become extremely anxious at the thought of throwing anything away.

If you or a loved one has developed Hoarding Disorder due to one or more of these contributing factors, we know the process of cleaning your house is a profoundly difficult one. But when you finally make the important decision to move forward toward recovery, our experienced crews at Go Junk Free America! can help. With recognized experience, skill at separating valuables from trash, and a commitment to using the greenest methods possible, you can rest assured that your belongings could not be in better hands.

Call us today for more information at 1-877-465-8653.

Go Junk Free is proud to serve Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, and San Bernardino counties, including the communities of Los Angeles, Burbank, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Sherman Oaks, Marina Del Rey, Brentwood, Hancock Park, Glendale, Culver City, Belair, West Hollywood, North Hollywood, Santa Monica, Universal City, Encino, Inglewood, North Hills, Valley Village, Reseda, Tarzana, and the surrounding areas.


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