Hoarding OCD is a condition that is characterized by the excessive accumulation of items. People with hoarding OCD often have a difficult time getting rid of objects, even if they don’t need them. This can cause problems in their personal lives and professional lives. If you or someone you know is struggling with hoarding OCD, it is important to get help. In this blog post, we will discuss what hoarding OCD is and how to get help for it.
What Is Hoarding OCD?
Hoarding OCD is described as an anxiety disorder characterized by an obsession with acquiring and saving items, even if the items are of little or no value. People with hoarding OCD often feel a need to hold on to things because they believe they will be needed or used in the future.
In severe cases, people with hoarding OCD may become so obsessed with collecting items that their homes become cluttered and crammed with possessions, making it difficult to live a normal life. It is believed that hoarding OCD is similar to other OCD subtypes, such as contamination OCD and checking OCD.
Also, it is important to understand that hoarding OCD and hoarding disorder are different things. We further explore the difference between these two disorders. With this understanding, you will better cope if you or a loved one is dealing with this particular OCD.
If you or someone you know may be suffering from hoarding OCD, there are a few things you can do to get help. First, it’s important to understand that hoarding OCD is a real disorder that can be treated by mental health professionals. There are many effective treatments available, including exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy, which has been shown to be an effective treatment for OCD.
How Do Hoarding OCD and Hoarding Disorder Differ?
So what’s the difference between hoarding OCD and hoarding disorder? The main difference is that people with hoarding disorder do not experience the same level of anxiety and distress as those with hoarding OCD. For people with hoarding OCD, the anxiety and distress caused by their compulsions are so severe that it significantly interferes with their quality of life.
In contrast, people with hoarding disorder may not experience such intense levels of anxiety and distress, and as a result, their quality of life is usually not as impaired. There are also some differences in the types of compulsions and symptoms that people with hoarding OCD and hoarding disorder experience.
People with hoarding OCD are more likely to:
- Worry about making mistakes or doing things wrong
- Spend a lot of time carrying out their compulsions
- Have difficulty completing everyday tasks because of their compulsions
- Avoid places or situations that trigger their OCD
People with hoarding disorder, on the other hand, are more likely to:
- Collect items that are considered worthless or of no use to most people
- Have difficulty getting rid of collected items, even if they’re no longer needed or wanted
- Spend a lot of time looking for new things to add to their collection
- Experience distress or problems in their daily life as a result of their hoarding
If you think you might have hoarding OCD or hoarding disorder, it’s important to seek professional help. A mental health professional can assess your symptoms and provide you with the treatment and support you need.
What Are Some Examples Of Hoarding OCD?
Hoarding OCD is a subtype of OCD that is characterized by an excessive need to save or hoard items. People with this disorder may collect items that are considered worthless by others, such as old newspapers or junk mail. They may also have difficulty getting rid of things, even if they are no longer needed.
There are some common examples of obsessions that people might face in hoarding OCD. These include:
- Maybe, I need this receipt after all: People with hoarding OCD may obsess over the idea that they might need an item in the future, even if it has no value to them now.
- I can’t bear to part with this: It is common for people with hoarding OCD to have a strong emotional attachment to their possessions. They may feel like they are losing a part of themselves if they get rid of something.
- Everything I have touched at the store is contaminated: People with hoarding OCD may be afraid of contracting germs from objects. As a result, they may hoard cleaning supplies or only buy food that is packaged and sealed.
- I should throw away the trash but what if I need it later?: This is a common thought for people with hoarding OCD. They may have difficulty getting rid of anything, even if it is garbage.
Some examples of compulsions in hoarding OCD that people usually have:
- I need to save everything: This is the most common compulsion in hoarding OCD. People may feel like they need to save every item they come across, even if they do not need it or want it.
- I need to organize everything: People with hoarding OCD may have a strong need to organize their possessions. They may spend hours organizing their items, even if it is not necessary.
- I need to clean everything: People with hoarding OCD may compulsively clean their possessions or living space. They may feel like they need to get rid of any dirt or germs that might be on their belongings.
- Purchasing unwanted products: Purchasing unwanted things is one of the common compulsions in hoarding OCD. People with this disorder may buy things that they do not need or want, just because they are afraid of running out of supplies.
Hoarding OCD can be a debilitating disorder that can have a major impact on a person’s life. If you or someone you know is struggling with this condition, it is important to seek professional help. There are many resources available to people with hoarding OCD, and treatment can be very effective.
What Are The Possible Causes?
There are many possible causes of hoarding OCD, but the most common seem to be:
A need for control
Generally, it is very common for some people with this type of OCD to feel like they need to be in control of their environment and their belongings. And, this need for control can lead them to hoard items that they think they might need in the future. For example, if they think they might need an extra pair of shoes, they will hoard them even if they never wear them.
Fear of losing items
People with hoarding OCD often have a fear of losing items that are important to them. This can lead them to hoard items that they think are valuable or sentimental. For example, they may hoard old pictures or letters even if they never look at them. In fact, this is one of the common causes that can come from early trauma.
People with this condition often have very high standards for themselves and their belongings. They may believe that if something is not perfect, it is not worth keeping. It is also believed that perfectionism is one of the causes that can come from early trauma. Because in OCD itself, this is a need for things to be “just so” in order to feel okay.
People with hoarding OCD may hoard items because they are anxious about losing them or because they think they will need them in the future. The anxiety caused by hoarding OCD can be debilitating and may make it difficult for people to keep up with daily activities. Because as a result they will more likely to suffer from depression.
Fear of change
It is believed that people suffering from this condition may be afraid of change, which can lead them to hoard items that they think will help them keep their life the same. More often, this is something that they think will happen in the future. For example, they may hoard clothes because they think they will need them when they lose weight.
So these are some possible causes that are responsible for this condition. If you or someone you know is struggling with hoarding OCD, there are many resources available to help. Also, it is important to talk to a mental health professional if you are struggling with any type of OCD. There are many treatment options available that can help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.
How It Can Be Treated?
There are several treatment options available for hoarding OCD. Some of the utmost important things that you can do to treat this condition include:
Cognitive behavioral therapy
This is a type of psychotherapy that helps people change their negative thinking patterns and behaviors. CBT is believed to be one of the most effective treatments for hoarding OCD. It mainly focuses on helping people learn how to cope with their obsessions and compulsions. For example, a therapist may teach you how to identify and challenge your negative beliefs about hoarding. They may also help you manage your anxiety and master some healthy coping skills.
Exposure and response prevention therapy
ERP is the most famous treatment to target OCD. It mainly focuses on helping you face your fears and resist your compulsions. For example, if you have a fear of throwing away your belongings, your therapist may gradually expose you to this fear by having you sort through some of your possessions. They would then help you resist the urge to hoard them. Over time, as you get used to the exposure and learn how to manage your anxiety, your fear will start to lessen.
This is usually prescribed along with some form of therapy. Medication can help to manage the symptoms of OCD, making it easier for you to engage in therapy. The most common type of medication used to treat OCD is antidepressants. It is important to be aware of the potential side effects of any medication before starting it.
There are many online and in-person support groups available for people with hoarding OCD. These groups provide a safe and supportive space for you to share your experiences and connect with others who understand what you’re going through. It is also a great way to learn more about your condition and how to manage it. You should always consult with your therapist before joining a support group.
There are a few things you can do to help manage hoarding OCD on your own:
- Educate yourself about the condition. This can help you understand what you’re experiencing and why.
- Identify your triggers. What sets off your hoarding urges? If you can avoid or remove your triggers, you may be able to reduce your hoarding urges.
- Challenge your thoughts. When you have a hoarding urge, try to question the thoughts that are driving it. Are they really true? How likely is it that your worst fears will come true?
- Practice mindfulness. This can help you focus on the present moment and reduce your anxiety.
- Do some exercise. Physical activity can help relieve stress and improve your mood.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can make OCD symptoms worse.
- Eat a healthy diet. Eating nutritious foods can help reduce stress and improve your overall health.
These self-help tips can be really helpful for some people. However, if your hoarding OCD is severe, you may need professional help to manage it. But definitely, if you are willing to seek help, there are many options available to you. So what are you waiting for? Go and get the help you need to recover your quality of life.
To conclude, hoarding OCD is a serious and potentially debilitating anxiety disorder that can cause sufferers a great deal of distress. This is simply described as an excessive fear of losing or not being able to access important possessions. If you think you may be suffering from hoarding OCD, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible. With the right treatment, it is possible to manage and reduce the symptoms of this disorder.
If you are struggling and want to know more about this type of OCD, please contact Therapy Mantra. We have a team of professional therapists who can provide you with the support and guidance you need to recover from this condition. Contact us today to learn more about our services. You can also book an online therapy session or download our free OCD treatment app on Android or iOS.