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Collecting mania; characteristics and treatment

Collecting mania, a phenomenon that often remains misunderstood, is more than just a passion for collecting. It is a complex disorder that deeply affects the life of the collector. In this article we dive deep into the world of this obsessive-compulsive disorder, from its characteristics to its treatment, and touch on various aspects of this condition.

What is compulsive collecting in short?

Extreme hoarding, or hoarding, is a psychological disorder characterized by an obsessive need to collect possessions and extreme difficulty getting rid of possessions. This often leads to overcrowded, unlivable living spaces, and can have serious consequences for the daily life of the hoarder, also known as a hoarder. It also often happens that people who suffer from hoarding mania not only have their house full of things, but that it is also full of vermin. However, a person with a passion for collecting sees no problem in this and will simply continue to live with his/her urge to collect.

Is hoarding disorder the same?

Collecting frenzy or hoarding is more than simply collecting objects. It is a cognitive disorder in which a person compulsively collects possessions and has persistent difficulty disposing of them, regardless of their actual value. This compulsion to collect is often accompanied by strong feelings of fear and discomfort at the idea of having to get rid of something. A hoarding disorder is also a type of collecting mania. They are people who collect things compulsively. Unfortunately, this does have consequences for the extreme collector. 


Collecting disorder, a complex mental disorder, has received increased attention in recent years, especially since its introduction in the DSM-5, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This recognition in the DSM-5 has contributed significantly to the understanding and treatment of hoarding. They are different obsessions in obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is also often accompanied by symptoms of other psychological disorders. 

What are the characteristics of compulsive collecting disorder?

The main characteristics of hoarding include the accumulation of a large amount of possessions that are hardly used for their actual function. This often leads to unsanitary conditions and makes the home uninhabitable. The collector experiences an obsessive need to keep certain objects, often for no logical reason. However, the amount of stuff will soon cause limitations in daily life. This is of course due to the collection of a large amount of items where hygiene is no longer taken into account.

How common are disorders such as hoarding disorder?

Collecting disorder is a disorder that occurs worldwide. Estimates suggest that approximately 2-6% of the population suffers from some degree of hoarding. This percentage illustrates how widespread the condition is, although it often remains underdiagnosed. 

What are causes of hoarding?

The exact causes of collecting mania are complex and multifaceted. Factors such as genetic predisposition, traumatic events, and the presence of other psychological problems such as mood or anxiety disorders can contribute to the development of this disorder. There is often a combination of psychological, biological and environmental factors.

How are collectors treated?

The treatment of hoarding disorder focuses on both the psychological and physical aspects of the disorder. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a commonly used method aimed at changing the thinking pattern and behavior of the collector. In some cases, medication may be prescribed, especially if the collecting habit is accompanied by other psychological disorders. Support from social workers and help with clean-up are also important aspects of treatment.

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In this article we have tried to paint a clear and complete picture of collecting mania. From the symptoms and causes to the treatment, it's clear that hoarding disorder is a complex condition that requires serious attention. Although it can be challenging, help is available and recovery is possible. For those who struggle with this disorder, or know someone who does, it is important to seek help and take the first step toward a better life.

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