Hoarding How It Can Harm, And How I Can Help

The definition of hoarding includes saving, not throw away, not able to let go, holding on for too long, long after the value is gone.

A person with hoarding disorder experiences distresses at the thought of getting rid of the items. They have an excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs. In the items, they may find a piece of self, or they will need it in a future day.

In 2013 DSM formally labeled hoarding as a disorder. This disorder has many stages and many levels. Not everyone who hoards is defined as a disorder. The difference is like between a person who is anxious and a person who has an anxiety disorder.

In the stage of our development, we all have collected something. That is how we learn procession was like. It gives us a sense of value. Only 2-5% will evolve into a disorder.

The trigger may be an emotional event, such as the death of a loved one: why would I let go of a piece of myself? It then becomes a piece of our identity. “I am my collection.” As a child when someone is surrounded by a sense of no control, they may form this tendency. This behaviour can eventually become a full-blown disorder. However, most people get diagnosed after they turn 40.

Commonality of Hoarding Behaviour

  • garage-full of stuff – can’t get to the back of garage.
  • family of history of hoarding – It’s more likely a learned behaviour.
  • low marriage rate high divorce rate – Hoarding always creates difficulty in relationships
  • a perfectionist – They are also highly detail oriented people.
  • difficult orient their emotions – They have difficult in letting go.
  • go inward – They may also have difficulty in socializing.
  • inbox of thousand emails

A Collector or A Hoarder?

A collector collects things with value. Real collectors have a pride in their collection. They have joy sharing and displaying. The collection is normally organized. There is a satisfaction. They are able to effectively budget their time and financial resources.

A hoarder collects things no longer of value, but they believe they will need it sometime in the future. Or they simply give them sentimental value, things like too big of a bargain to throw away.

Holding on to stuff becomes a problem when it’s out of control, too cluttered, and it negatively affects the life, not only to the person but the ones around them. Hoarding becomes a problem when it’s progressed far beyond the normal, for example, you cannot see the floor anymore.

Telltale Signs to Watch

  • It becomes more and more difficulty throwing away possessions.
  • When you attempt to throw away items, even though you don’t find the usefulness of them, you feel something wrong. When even thinking about it makes you worry and anxiety, it may have progressed to a disorder stage.
  • There is a lot of guilt and shame around it.
  • Emotionally you go in withdraw.
  • You can’t let others touch your stuff. You are territorial and concerned and worried. For example, you are concerned about running out of a certain item; or you are paranoid about something you might need in the future.
  • You may even go to the trash to make sure you might need something in the future
  • The amount of livable space has diminished so significantly that your life is restricted.
  • You experience social isolation because of that. And you are not comfortable when things need to be fixed because of embarrassment.

How Hoarding Negatively Affects People Around Them

Mostly hoarder affects their family, to the point that marriage or relationship can become seriously challenging. Common emotions include anger, resentment, depression. It also affects children’s social development and may cause isolation. It may cause evacuation if renting, as it can be a fire hazard.

How can hypnotherapy help?

Even though at some stage, a hoarder can experience financial problems, hoarders themselves can be very poor or very wealthy. Hoarders are not lazy people as we’d like to think. They can even have very high standards. A hoarder may just be overwhelmed.

So don’t worry. I am not going to your house and clean the clutter for you. but I can empower you to sustain a healthier and more productive lifestyle.

Hoarders are normally afraid to change, so they normally don’t show up in my office. However, some events may trigger it, and they become more uncomfortable than they are afraid to change.
Often times it’s a fear-based motivation: losing a house, losing a job, losing a partner… whatever it is, they have to move.

In our Counselling-hypnotherapy session, we spend time describing how this habit that started a long time ago has become a problem, your relationship to the problem, finding out the good reasons you hold on to what you hold on to. Is it more of your own concern or someone else’s concern? How is this habit negatively affecting your life? How is it negatively affecting others? What’s causing you to want to change this habit? what positive things are going to happen?

You will also learn practical organizational skills, and learn to prioritize. Together we identify where is the most important place to start, creating continuous success by achieving success. So you know it’s achievable.

You will never be judged by your hypnotherapist

We may go through stages of loss and grief. You will learn that it is good to have those feelings, but you can move through them. But you are always in control of your own thoughts and feelings.

In letting go of the outdated behaviour, we start to build a healthy sense of self. After all, resistance is just a fear. You have reached a boundary. You have reached a real point that real change will happen. the next step will be the step towards freedom.

Schedule your first session with Kemila in person below. If it’s online such as Zoom or Skype, please go to the Online Session page. For returned clients, click here for scheduling a Regular Session. Or if you have questions, you can Schedule a consultation with Kemila.


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