Causes of Hoarding

Ashley ChoiCauses of Hoarding

What is Hoarding? Compulsive hoarding is a disorder of not discarding items that appear little or no value. This accumulation of clutter leads to at living and workspaces that cannot be used The clutter results in serious threats to the health and safety of the sufferer and who live nearby.

Psychotic DisordersNo Psychiatric DisorderDementiaEating disordersAutismMental retardationFrequently associated with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). 25-40% of people with OCD have compulsive hoarding symptoms. Not clear if part of OCD or a separate disorder that is common in people who have OCD.Compulsive hoarding may be hereditary 85% of people identify another family member who has this problem. Abnormal brain development and brain lesions. Can begin after brain damage, such as strokes, surgery, injuries, or infections. Emotional stress may heighten symptoms Causes of Hoarding

Typical BehaviorsSaving and collecting far more items than are needed or can be used.Avoidance of throwing things away.Avoidance of making decisions.Avoidance of putting possessions in appropriate storage areas, such as closets, drawers, or files.Lateness in completing tasks.

DangersFunctional impairment inability to have guests over, to prepare or eat food, to find important possessions, to finish tasks on time More severe anxiety and depression symptoms Fire or health hazards caused by excessive clutter Infestations Interpersonal conflicts caused by the clutter.

Word Cloud

Interview with my Grandmother:Jung-Ok Choi

Background Information:Lived through WWII, Korean War, and the Vietnam WarCurrently 84Hoards food

Interview Questions:Q: Which wars affected you the most?A: WWII and the Korean War. In WWII, after the bomb in Pearl Harbor, every time a plane flew by people had to hide. At the time I was scared but fortunate because I was not taken away by the Japanese to be used as a prostitute for the Japanese soldiers.In the Korean War, we had to relocate many times. I never went back to my old childhood neighborhood (Gae Song) till this day because it was close the 38th parallel.

Q: What were your living conditions like?A: I remember the Korean War more clearly. I was 19 years old. I lived with my grandparents, parents and 5 other siblings. We relocated to Seoul at a friends house, then moved to Soowon. We did not have a stable place to live.

Q: How was food provided?A: There was barely enough food for everyone. In Seoul we traded most of our clothes for extra food. The Army in WWII provided families with rice but in small portions.

Interview Questions (cont)Q: When did food supply improve?A: After the war, government provided more food. 8 years after, I married a police officer, in which I had a stable food supply and home.

Q: Why do you save everything now? Even though there is an abundance of food?A: I dont like leaving any leftovers. We should not throw anything away and instead eat everything. Going through the war there was barely enough for my family. Food is very valuable.

Hypotheses & ResultThe ExperimentAn experiment to determine its impact on the development and duration of attachments to possessions. 22 compulsive hoarders and 22 nonpsychiatric community controlsThe attachment exercise: to consider the instrumental and sentimental value of the object and to imagine what it might be like to take the object homeFollowing the experimental, participants were given a choice to take the target object home or leave itHypotheses were: (1) Hoarders will report greater attachment(2) Hoarders will report greater anxiety (3) The experiment will enhance attachment to objects for both hoarders and normal controls, but hoarders will demonstrate stronger attachment(4) Hoarding participants who choose to take the target object(s) home will endorse stronger attachments than controls at the two-week follow up.

As predicted, hoarding participants reported greater anxiety and stronger attachments

The Formation of Attachments to Objects in Compulsive HoardingCherian, Ancy E.Boston University

TV Shows:1. HoardersChannel: A&E2. Hoarding: Buried AliveChannel: TLC3. Confessions: Animal HoardingChannel: Animal Planet

Follow Up Books:The Hoarder in You: How to Live a Happier, Healthier, Uncluttered Lifeby: Robin Zasio

Zen of Hoarding by: Saira Priest

Movies:The Little Mermaid Princess Ariel

Review Questions

1) What is Hoarding?Compulsive hoarding is a disorder of not discarding items that appear little or no value this leads to accumulation of clutter2) What Psychotic Disorder is usually associated with compulsive hoarding?Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)3) What are some dangers of hoarding?Functional impairment, More severe anxiety and depression symptoms, Fire or health hazards caused by excessive clutter, Infestations, Interpersonal conflictsAny Questions?

An, S. K., Mataix-cols, D., Lawrence, N. S., Wooderson, S., Giampietro, V., Speckens, A., . . . Phillips, M. L. (2009). To discard or not to discard: The neural basis of hoarding symptoms in obsessive-compulsive disorder.Molecular Psychiatry,14(3), 318-31. doi:

Cherian, A. E. (2007).The formation of attachments to objects in compulsive hoarding.Boston University).ProQuest Dissertations and Theses,, 91-91 p. Retrieved from (304897965).

"Specialty Programs."Specialty Programs. University of California, San Diego, n.d. Web. 14 May 2013.

Winsberg, M. E., Cassic, K. S., & Koran, L. M. (1999). Hoarding in obsessive-compulsive disorder: A report of 20 cases.The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry,60(9), 591-7. Retrieved from


Top Related