Why Do People Hoard?

Why do people hoard? Some experts say that those who compulsively hoard things to the point that it affects their daily activities are compulsive hoarders. This means that they have a condition that is a subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Compulsive hoarding is present in 30-40 percent of people with OCD. The condition may cut the person off from society, ruin relationships and even endanger lives.

This condition is actually different from disorganization or bad planning since it is thought to be a pathological brain disorder, which is often a symptom of impulse control disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and other illnesses. It is often seen that if one member of the family (especially a parent) hoards, their children are likely to follow. Why do people hoard within a family? Even though hoarding frequently runs in families, there haven’t been studies to support that DNA influences the condition.

Why do people hoard?” can be answered by brain imaging studies. These studies say that compulsive hoarding involves a particular type of brain movement. Hoarding patients have an unusual pattern of glucose metabolism in their brain compared to healthy individuals or non-hoarding OCD patients. In addition, hoarders have extremely lower activity in the dorsal anterior cingulated cortex of the brain and studies found a different pattern of cognitive insufficiency. This deficit results to difficulty in making right decisions.

Another answer to the question “Why do people hoard?” is sentimental value. It should be noted that not everyone who has a hard time putting away their useless things is a compulsive hoarder. There are some people who cling to the memory of special people or events. When we think about it, all of us get attached to various things. There are things that remind us of those we love or special moments we don’t want to forget. There are just some people who enjoy having keepsakes. The difference with severely compulsive hoarders is that the attachment to things becomes extremely intense, which is more intense than the attachment to the actual giver.

There are those who hoard things because they fear that they will accidentally throw away something useful. They will always come up with all kinds of reasons why they shouldn’t throw their things, or they would think that other people might want them. Because they don’t want to lose their stuff, they wouldn’t mind having a chaotic house. The irony is that they refuse to let go of their things thinking they may use it in the future, but what happens is they couldn’t use all these things because there are just too much chaos. Some would even just be forgotten because of the pile of clutter.

Posted at June 30th, 2011.

One Response to “Why Do People Hoard?”

  1. Maryann says:

    A few years ago i would go to my sisters house and oh my god it was cluttered.clothes all over the place bathtubs black kitchen floor used to be brown but now black ceilings black it stunk so bad walking in the door i used to have nightmares. i ask why we were raised clean. i love to clean i have 3 dogs but you can eat off my floors. i just recently watched hoarders and realized that is what my sister is. what do you do. i have not been to her house in months. i worry about her grandson he is only 6 yrs. old

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