The hoarding condition, though not often discussed, is a pretty common occurrence. About one in 20 people have a hoarding disorder. Hoarding can be a symptom of another condition such as depression or OCD to name a couple, or it can be a result of a traumatic experience, such as the death of a loved one. There is no generic hoarding situation, as each hoarding situation differs with each individual person. The individual can be hoarding a collection of items, miscellaneous objects, paper, animals, even trash and other items. Though the hoarder may be embarrassed of their living conditions, it is important for them to know that they are not alone, and there are external resources that can be utilized to help.
The online world makes many aspects more accessible: shopping, learning, socializing and much more. Online sources can be used to find help as well. Search engines are a great place to start when beginning the help process. Search engines such as Google and Bing can be used to educate oneself, to research various organizations, and to connect with people. There are online support groups for various groups of people, and hoarding support groups are no exception.
- Yahoo H-C (Compulsive Hoarding Community): for individuals with OCD and compulsive hoarding tendencies
- Yahoo Messiness and Hoarding: self-help online forum for people with hoarding tendencies; over 2000 members
- Hoarding.supportgroups.com: people 13+ years of age are able to utilize this forum to have discussions with people undergoing similar situations; over 1800 members
- International OCD Foundation: website whose mission is to help individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders; has a hoarding page and a help search bar to find therapists, clinics & programs, support groups, and organizations
- Children of Hoarders: an informative website that has a support group for adult children of hoarders and their spouses
Other helpful sites about hoarding and related conditions:
- Compulsive-hoarding.org: a site focusing on compulsive hoarding; provides facts, research, recommended books, and support information
- Food for the Brain: focuses on “optimum nutrition for the mind” and addresses mental health illnesses such as ADHD, Bipolar disorder, Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, Depression, etc.
- How Caregivers Can Take Better Care of Themselves: a blog providing tips to help maintain the health and well-being of a caregiver
Try not to live a life isolated from society. If you feel your immediate community will not understand your situation, seek external alliances to talk about hoarding and even address the hoarding clutter. Human beings are naturally social creatures and many people exist who want to help others. Seek and you shall find, and never be afraid to ask for help.