Hoarding and OCD


Obsessive hoarding, also known as compulsive hoarding, is recognized as the plentiful and largely unnecessary acquisition of items that are often worthless and unsanitary. It is known to get so serious at some points, that it interferes with a given hoarders ability to conduct themselves in the manner in which they regularly would – and even prevents them from doing things like showering, sleeping and eating.

Researchers at this point remain uncertain whether obsessive hoarding is the byproduct or symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or a condition in itself. A number of studies have indicated some sort of connection between OCD and excessive hoarding exists, however, that hoarding does not generally involve the same neurological mechanisms as OCD does. Further, the two things don’t respond to the same drugs, which would also indicate that hoarding is not simply the byproduct of OCD.

One of the most common types of hoarding is bibliomania, also known as book hoarding. In this process, a sufferer collects or hoards books to the point where their physical and mental health may get damaged. They collect books which they have absolutely no use for, and for the most part, cannot explain why they do it. Buying multiple copies of the same book is a frequent occurrence amongst sufferers of this condition.

Animal hoarding is another common form of obsessive hoarding. Sufferers of this particular condition involve an abnormal amount of animals as pets without having the means and resources to properly care for them. Often, animal hoarders end up unwittingly abusing the animals because they are not able to appropriately care for them. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has recognized this as a serious dilemma, and offers a “Hoarding Prevention Team” which works with hoarders to help them take care of their animals and maintain a positive environment for the animals themselves.

Obsessive hoarding has been known to be treated with everything from Anafranil to Paxil to Proxac to Luvox to Zoloft.

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