OCD & Hoarding: How They’re Related
By: Brianna Richardson
What is OCD?
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a psychological disorder in which an individual experiences obsessions and compulsions.
Obsessions are characterized as ongoing intrusive thoughts, images, or urges that cause psychological distress.
Compulsions are characterized by repetitive (physical or mental) behaviors that are performed in an attempt to alleviate the distress or anxiety which is associated with obsession.
How Does This Relate to Hoarding?
The link made between OCD and Hoarding is known as Compulsive Hoarding (or Hoarding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Hoarding OCD). People with Hoarding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder experience frequent intrusive thoughts or urges about acquiring material items and/or anxiety about discarding material items.
What Does Compulsive Hoarding Look Like?
Compulsive Hoarding can present itself in many ways. Here’s one example.
‘My house is cluttered; I don’t have much room to walk. Maybe I should get rid of somethings? I’ll start with this pile of hair brushes… I can’t get rid of all these hairbrushes… What if two of them break, and then I misplace another? What if someone needs to borrow one? I have to keep them. I don’t want to regret throwing them away.’
This person is experiencing intrusive thoughts, urges, anxiety and compulsions.
Other Signs May Include
- Difficulty discarding items
- Extreme clutter (at workspace, car, house, etc.)
- Losing important items in clutter
- Feeling overwhelmed by clutter
- Compulsive need to take anything given for free
- Never having guests over
- Never having people over to work on repairs
- A belief that items of no use are valuable
If you or someone you know is experiencing Compulsive Hoarding or OCD please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit https://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com