Lifestyle

“Any gift, birthday card, train ticket, it’s all hard for me,” Diary of a 20-year-old hoarder.


I tend to be a little more careful when buying something with cute packaging because I know I’ll refuse to throw it out, even if it’s just a cardboard box. If it’s cute, I’ll feel the need to keep it – I have to make sure I use what I’m buying too

Jay, 23 years old

Hoarding is characterized by the NHS as “a disorder in which someone buys too many items and stores them in a chaotic manner, often resulting in an unmanageable amount of clutter. Items may have little or no monetary value. ” It can take over an individual’s life more slowly or suddenly after a traumatic event that increases mental health problems like depression or OCD.

The effects of hoarding are far-reaching, in some cases causing sufferers to avoid letting friends and family into their homes because of a sense of shame, or in more severe cases, affecting personal hygiene. of an individual if they cannot access their home debts such as bathrooms.

It is clear that while hoarding can peak for people of an older age, the first onset of symptoms can appear much earlier in an individual’s life.

But while hoarding is often associated with the older generation – it is believed to be three times more popular in older adults (55-94 years) compared with younger people (34-44 years) – the study was carried out in 2016 found that the average age of onset of symptoms is 10 to 20 years, and that the average age of onset for a diagnosis of hoarding disorder may be 20 to 30 years. It is clear that while hoarding can peak for people of an older age, the first onset of symptoms can appear much earlier in an individual’s life.

“It’s actually only recently over the last couple of years that I’ve realized that’s a problem, I’ve made a lot of excuses as to why I can’t give up everything but I find it’s just my denial.” said the 23-year-old girl. Jay, who struggles with letting go of more emotional and mundane things.

I have no reason not to, but I always find a reason to keep everything, even all my old boxes of apple products or my bath bombs from 2016.

Jay

“When I was growing up and finally out of the car seat, I refused to let it go until my grandparents had no choice but to make the excuse that it was ‘abandoned’ by confused”, I sat in. locker and cried for hours, when my grandfather put his head in the car, I refused to get in the car. Letting go of things in life has always been difficult for me because it signals change, and I may need it someday. The idea of ​​similarity goes so far that I need to listen to certain playlists and albums on certain bus/train lines, sit in the same seats, etc. or everything feels different and weird. I even changed a round of the hotel room to make it look like last year’s design (when I was 17)”

Jay was also diagnosed with autism and believes many of their hoarding-related symptoms stem from this.

“I think that’s a big part of it, I can’t mentally cope with change and I’m attached to the weirdest items as if they were part of my life and without them. I won’t be that person anymore. just a box, an old unused bath bomb, or an unburnt candle from 2015.

If I throw away a card or gift, I feel like I’m throwing someone away, like their generosity and money mean nothing to me. Jay

“Any gift, birthday card, train ticket, they are very difficult for me to throw away – they all have memories attached to them, and I love looking at them, the date (if it’s a train ticket). ) and think how. that ticket is what got me to a place that day, and if I throw it away, what do I have left of that day? If I throw away a card or gift, I feel like I’m throwing someone away, like their generosity and money mean nothing to me. I still have my train ticket from 2016 – it feels like if I didn’t have one, that day would never have happened. I have bath bombs since 2016, I won’t throw them away once I’ve spent money on them and I want my money to be worth it even though I know I’ll never actually use them, they’re not in the bin so I still have what i spent money on. Apple boxes are another thing, I feel they are too good quality to throw away and I love looking at them and thinking about all the products that I have had and experienced over the years. I have a color correction cream palette from 2016 that I have never used but I refuse to throw it away because it has my dog’s hair on it and it passed away in 2019.

Hoarding can have a significant psychological impact on individual suffering, triggering feelings of shame, in part due to the societal stigma still associated with hoarding and clutter. home.

Nicola Rodriguezan interior designer with a degree in Stress Management and Anxiety Disorders, works closely with people who struggle to let go of the material and maintain order in their homes, understanding the link between illness one’s psyche and personal space and a great overlap occurs between the two.

Understanding why an individual feels the need to hoard is different for every client I work with.Nicola Rodriguez

“Understanding why an individual feels the need to hoard is different for every client I work with. Many times, love is a great benefactor. This may include wanting to keep your child’s clothes or toys, possibly due to loss or inability to give or dispose of these items. Another factor to consider is their upbringing. This can include growing up unstuffed due to living in poverty, or for those whose mental health is affected, retail therapy can often help.

“I remember one particular client I was brought in for help who had a problem with her underwear. As a child, she only had 2 pairs of panties because she came from a poor family, which led to her now having over 100 pairs of panties (many still have tags) that she Can’t stop buying. I worked with her over a period of several weeks to understand her phobia and then we worked together to halve what she had.”

Charity organization Mind recommends using tactics like setting a timer to help you clean an area of ​​your space, or listening to specific songs while organizing to make the task more manageable. Planning to deal with hoards, ideally with the support of people close to you, is another way to make this quest more achievable, possibly by going up schedule a specific amount of time each week to clean up or make rules like trying to sort out items that haven’t been used in the last 6 months, 1 year or more to see if you can break them up .

It can be a big step towards realizing you may have trouble hoarding and something you should feel proud of even at the beginning of your journey.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to helping people struggling with hoarding, CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is sometimes suggested as a means to help people with hoarding. The tendency to hoard can often overlap with OCD. If you believe you are struggling with hoarding, talk to your GP, who can refer you to a psychiatrist or other mental health professional as part of your assessment. price to learn more about your experience. It can be a big step towards realizing you may have trouble hoarding and something you should feel proud of even at the beginning of your journey. The support of those around you can be invaluable, and Mind offers some great advice on how to be open with friends and family about a mental health issue to get the support they deserve.

Support those who are having difficulty with hoarding

Support for a hoarder’s family and friends





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