Compulsive Hoarding Syndrome Essay

1786 Words 8 Pages
Imagine how much trash and waste people discard in their lifetimes. Now imagine a person living in that waste they have accumulated in their lifetime stored in their own homes because of their inability to discard the useless items. This is what day-to-day life is like for a compulsive hoarder. Compulsive hoarding is a chronic behavioral syndrome that is defined by a person's extreme retention of useless items and crippling inability to discard such items. Compulsive hoarding has been traditionally recognized amongst psychiatrists and researchers in human behavior as a sub-type of obsessive-compulsive disorder due to similar symptoms hoarders have with those that suffer from OCD. However, there is substantial evidence that proves contrary. …show more content…
Until recently, the syndrome has often been associated with OCD due to similar aspects between the disorders. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a behavioral disorder that includes several social phobias, compulsive hoarding included (Andersen et al. 189).

Compulsive hoarding is not a sub-type of OCD due to several behavioral deficiencies and symptoms unrelated to OCD. These symptoms imply that compulsive hoarding is its own syndrome apart from OCD. Researchers from the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders in Boston University agree that compulsive hoarding is not a sub-type of OCD because hoarding does not directly correlate to any compulsive indications or obsessions as with other OCD symptoms (Grisham & Barlow 46). These symptoms include obsession with symmetry, repetition, and checking rituals (Summerfeldt et al. 1454). However, compulsive hoarding has numerous psychological disorders unrelated to OCD, indicating that compulsive hoarding is indeed its own syndrome and further proves that it is not a symptom of OCD. Several hoarders have been reported to have psychosises ranging from schizophrenia to eating disorders (Timpano et al. 439). People who suffer from OCD are not always typically associated with these psychoses however; generally their symptoms are associated with typical OCD behavior, unlike hoarders. The

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