Choosing The Right Help For Hoarders
Finding help for hoarders is not nearly as difficult as it once was not so long ago. Until the recent appearance of popular television shows captured the attention of the American, the general public viewed hoarding as a non-event. Even those who were aware of someone struggling with the disorder were poorly equipped to offer any assistance.
Before reality TV took over and thrust the hoarding topic out into the open, most people's idea of a hoarder consisted of someone who lived in a home but looked like a homeless person. They were believed to be dirty, anti-social, and probably completely mad. Although this scenario can be reasonably accurate in some cases, we are now discovering that it is a bit more complicated than that.
Mental health professionals once believed that uncontrolled collecting was just a side note of more complex and severe mental illness. Now that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has reclassified the disorder with its own entry in the DSM-IV it is finally being recognized as a stand-alone illness.
This qualification has permitted researchers to focus on the elements that comprise the condition and seek out effective measures to treat it. Although that is a step in the right direction, mental health professionals say we still have a ways to go before we fully understand this bizarre affliction.
In the meantime, however, health experts are having success in treating the disorder by researching individual case studies to see what data can be drawn from observation and direct interaction with different hoarders.
As more people are being discovered with the problem, more information is becoming available to researchers. Many similarities have already been established, and methods of treatment are being tailored based on this data.
What We Know About Compulsive Collecting
It is already known that hoarding often develops early on in a person's life and is triggered in later years by some sudden loss, usually of a loved one upon which the person had grown emotionally dependent. Without the guidance of the dead person, the hoarder becomes disoriented in life and begins to compensate irrationally by holding on to items of no value.
So far, it has been discovered that unless the hoarder agrees to cooperate and comply with treatment in post care situations, the recidivism rate is nearly 100%.
Before attempting to intervene in a hoarder's life, it is important to arm yourself with as much accurate information on the subject as possible. You want to make sure to maximize the chances of recovery by taking the right steps and becoming a positive influence in the person's world.
If you do not establish the trust and acceptance of the hoarder, they will probably only see you as an intruder who is only there to destroy their lives. Paranoia and deep mistrust are often associated with compulsive collectors, so a light touch and a lot of patience are required.
A brief search on the internet will reveal a library of information regarding every aspect of the hoarding disorder. One resource that can be especially useful for quick reference material is this link to Reddit where you will find information on every aspect from recognizing a hoarder to achieving recovery.
As health care professionals learn more about the causes of this once private illness more accurate treatments will become available that will certainly change the lives of those who suffer silently with this peculiar disorder.