The Dark Side of Hoarding: Depression and Its Relation to Hoarding

May 26th, 2016 by

Hoarding DepressionCompulsive hoarding condition and clinical depression are two mental conditions, but other than being conditions that affect the mind, some may question, what is the correlation between the two? Someone with depression may exhibit hoarding tendencies, and someone with a hoarding condition may become depressed.

Clinical depression is a condition that is characterized by feelings of sadness and worthlessness for extended periods of time ranging from days to years on end. In addition to feeling depressed, clinical depression generally is accompanied by other signs:

  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of pleasure in things/activities that used to be enjoyed
  • Feelings of hopelessness and solitude

With these feelings, an individual may be unmotivated to almost anything: from hanging out with friends and family to even getting up in the morning. Do to this lack of motivation, an individual suffering from clinical depression may be less inclined to maintain a clean environment. With little ambition to pick up after themselves, the untouched mess may gradually build up over time, developing into the equivalent of a hoarding home.

Comparable to people with depression, those with a hoarding condition may also experience similar symptoms, such as lack of energy, feelings of hopelessness, problems eating and sleeping, negative thoughts, etc. Hoarding can occur for various reasons. Here are some examples, to name a few:

  • Belief that items will someday be useful.
  • Emotional attachment to items.
  • Fear of throwing away items rather than the desire to collect more.

The clutter will continue to grow, diminishing livable conditions. In more extreme cases, the hoarding home may include biohazards, such as human fecal matter, in addition to the clutter. Studies show that people surrounded by clutter experience increased feelings of anxiety and a decrease in focus and productivity. The stress of an overly cluttered home can be overwhelming and produce feelings of hopelessness and mental/physical exhaustion.

Though the hoarding disorder and clinical depression are not the same mental condition, they do have relevance to one another. Both conditions can coincide, as a person who is depressed may develop a hoarding problem or vice versa. If you or someone you know is showing signs of depression or a hoarding condition, it is important to seek the appropriate help. Mental health professionals are a good source to turn to in order to address the mental aspects of either condition. These professionals will be able to help ease the mental burden and bring the individual closer to a happier life. If the individual has developed an overwhelmingly cluttered home, professional specialty cleanup services such as Address Our Mess, are able to confront the clutter and safely and efficiently clean the residence. It is important to seek professional assistance as soon as possible in order to address the condition and avoid any harm to the individual and/or anyone involved with the person.

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