Most hoarders don’t realize they have a problem but even if they do realize, they’re most likely to hide the fact that they suffer from compulsive hoarding. Usually their families and close friends would know about it but it is very difficult for them to bring up the topic to the hoarder. If the problem gets worse to the point that it affects the person’s health and living conditions, then as a family member or a friend, you should really bring up the matter. It will not be an easy task though as it is difficult for a hoarder to let go of his possessions since he often associates his things with his memories and refuse to discard those items. Hoarders can be resentful when suggested to throw away some of their things.

Finding out more about compulsive hoarding disorder can help you understand more about this condition and thus understand the hoarder better. But your role is to just support and encourage the hoarder to seek help, so don’t assume you can solve this problem on your own. The best way to help with hoarding disorder is by seeing a mental health professional after you successfully persuade the hoarder to agree with seeking professional help. You should also consider asking the hoarder’s family for help if you are unsuccessful in persuading your friend.

Compulsive hoarding is often diagnose as a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), but medications that are successful in treating other types of obsessive-compulsive disorder are known not to be very effective when it comes to help with compulsive hoarding disorder. The current preferred choice of treatment is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy or CBT.

CBT is usually conducted at the home of the hoarder with regular visits by a practitioner to guide and help with the hoarder’s decision-making skills pertaining to which items to throw away and which items should be kept. CBT aims to dismantle the thinking patterns of a hoarder, which is based on misconceptions, and put in place new thought patterns. With CBT, the practitioner will also help the hoarder to confront his fears.

The support and encouragement from family and friends are very important when the hoarder is going through therapy. What appears easy for you to do can be painful and difficult for the hoarder to do. So show a lot of care and love, it is very important for the hoarder to achieve results.

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