McDonough, GA—Hoarding Disorder Counseling
If we’re being honest, we all hold on to items that we know are old or useless, for various reasons. This harmless behavior is far from the behavior that is associated with a hoarding disorder. So, what exactly is the difference between someone who keeps mementos and useless items and someone who hoards? To put it simply, the reasons behind why items are kept, and the number of items that are kept. But what makes this a disorder?
What Is Hoarding Disorder?
If you’re unsure that you have a hoarding disorder, this disorder is characterized by a persistent difficulty parting with possessions because the individual feels a need to save them. While this may not seem harmful on the surface, what really causes the issue is the number of items a person needs to “save” as well as their perceived need. There is a difference between saving items that have emotional or useful value and saving items that have potential emotional and useful value. Someone with a hoarding disorder will perceive almost anything as being of value, resulting in them saving almost every item that comes into their possession. This results in extremely cluttered households, and extremely cramped living conditions, due to all the hoarded items. In addition, hoarding disorder can also lead to complications such as:
- Fire hazards
- Loneliness or isolation
- Family conflicts
- Health risks due to unsanitary conditions
- Increased risk of injuries due to falls or by being trapped from fallen items
The environment that is created by having a hoarding disorder could also lead to several mental health conditions such as:
- Attention deficit disorder or hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
How Can Counseling Help with A Hoarding Disorder?
Thriveworks McDonough counseling for a hoarding disorder may help you address your hoarding issues, as well as the additional symptoms you may have due to hoarding, such as depression, anxiety, and loneliness. The most common, and effective, treatment, or type of counseling, for a hoarding disorder is cognitive behavioral therapy.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, or (CBT) is a type of counseling that allows your therapist or counselor to help you understand the thinking behind your hoarding, as well as the associated behaviors. To address the cognitive aspect of CBT, you’ll likely work with your counselor to uncover just what emotions, beliefs, and thoughts cause you to want to hoard. For some it may be emotional attachments to the items, comfort from having these items, or something else. Once you uncover the thoughts behind it, your counselor can help you reframe your mindset about hoarding and find healthier methods of addressing these thoughts and feelings.
As for the behavioral aspect of CBT, your counselor will seek to help you understand why your hoarding behaviors are unhealthy and causing you additional stress. Then, when you’ve seen how your behaviors are leading to further issues such as depression, financial strain, strained relationships, etc., you can start to work on creating solutions to your hoarding needs. Where once you hoarded items, you may find a new outlet or behavior.
It’s important to note that your counseling treatment may include steps to help you remove your clutter. This should not be forced on you, but once you’ve come to realize how unhealthy hoarding is, you’ll see this slow decluttering as small steps to a healthy mind. Your counselor will likely not use decluttering as part of your treatment until you’ve reached a mental state where you realize that it is necessary.
If you’re willing to work with your counselor, you’ll see that counseling is the best possible treatment for your hoarding disorder. Call us today at 678-853-5849 to schedule an appointment with Thriveworks McDonough.