Abstract and Keywords
Hoarding is characterized by excessive acquisition, difficulty discarding or letting go of objects, disorganization, and resulting clutter. Hoarding symptoms onset during childhood or adolescence and continue in an increasing and chronic course, affecting approximately 4% to 5% of adults. Adults who hoard tend to be unmarried and living alone and may have lower incomes; few gender effects have been identified. Associated features include difficulty with decision making, as well as perfectionism, emotional sensitivity, and strong attachment to objects. Insight is often low, causing problems for treatment and family intervention. Hoarding can cause serious physical (safety, health) and functional (financial, housing, employment) impairment that adversely affects the individual, family members, and the community. Hoarding has been associated with childhood adversity and various stressful life experiences, but not specifically post-traumatic stress disorder. These symptoms and features are reviewed, noting other chapters in this volume that provide more detail regarding various features.
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