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My mum has collecting rage, help!

Saying the words “my mother has a collecting habit” can be accompanied by a mix of worries, questions, and perhaps even a feeling of powerlessness. Hoarding disorder, also known as hoarding, is a complex condition that affects not only the person suffering from it, but also their family members and loved ones. This article aims to shed light on hoarding, its impact, and ways you can provide support.

What is hoarding?

Collecting disorder is a psychological disorder characterized by an extreme urge to collect items and difficulty disposing of items, regardless of their actual value. This can lead to crowded, disorganized living spaces, which sometimes even become unsanitary or a fire hazard. Collecting disorders are often also called hoarding or hoarding.

What are the characteristics of hoarding disorder?

Characteristics of hoarding include compulsive collecting of items, problematic amounts of stuff in the home, and severe anxiety at the idea of having to throw something away. This behavior often leads to limitations in daily life, social isolation and can even compromise safety.

How common are these disorders?

Estimates suggest that a small percentage of the population suffers from hoarding. It is a condition that affects both men and women, often worsening with age. You can best recognize a hoarder by an obsessive-compulsive disorder such as being afraid to throw something away. They are often people who fill their house with things instead of throwing things away. 

What are the causes of collecting mania?

The precise causes of hoarding are not yet fully understood, but research points to a combination of genetic, neurological, and environmental factors. Psychological problems, such as depression, anxiety disorders, and trauma can also play a role. It is often a compulsion to collect that problematic collectors have after experiencing something in the past.

Can a hoarder be helped?

Cognitive behavioral therapy specifically aimed at hoarding is currently the most effective treatment. It helps individuals change their behavior, think more clearly about possessions, and control the urge to collect. In some cases, medication may also be prescribed to treat underlying mental disorders.

My mother has a collecting habit

When you notice that your mother has a collecting habit, it is important to show empathy and understanding. Recognizing the problem is the first step to help. This is of course very difficult, but it is of course very important to create a safe environment for yourself and your loved ones. 

How can I help my mother?

Supporting a loved one with a hoarding habit starts with open and non-judgmental communication. Encourage her to seek professional help and offer to find solutions together. Small, gradual changes are often more effective than large-scale cleanups, which can be counterproductive.

Talk about it

By approaching the topic of hoarding from a place of empathy and understanding, and offering support without judgment, families can work together to create a safer and healthier living environment. It's a journey that requires patience, time, and sometimes professional guidance, but improvement is possible.

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Help Center

What exactly is collecting mania?

Hoarding, or hoarding, is a psychological disorder in which a person feels an irresistible urge to collect objects and experiences extreme difficulty at the idea of throwing something away, even if the objects have no value. This can lead to overcrowded living environments.

How do I know if someone around me has a collecting habit?

You can recognize hoarding by some of its characteristics: the amount of stuff in the house is overwhelming and never seems to diminish, paths through the house are blocked by piles of objects, and the person experiences anxiety or stress at the idea of getting rid of something.

Is collecting mania the same as simply having a lot of stuff? Is it someone like a collector?

No, there is an essential difference. Someone can have a lot of stuff as a result of a collecting urge or hobby without this causing problems. With hoarding, the collected items cause significant disruptions in daily life, including problems with hygiene and safety.

What are the causes of collecting mania? Is it an offshoot of trauma?

The causes can be diverse, including genetic predispositions, brain abnormalities, traumatic experiences, and the presence of other psychological problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Can collecting mania be treated?

Yes, hoarding can be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps change the thoughts and behaviors that lead to hoarding. In some cases, medication can also be useful to address underlying psychological problems.

How can I help someone with a collecting habit?

Start with an open and judgment-free dialogue. Encourage the person to seek professional help and offer your support in this process. Don't force major cleanups; this can cause anxiety and be counterproductive.

What should I not do when helping someone with a collecting habit?

Avoid throwing away items without the person's permission. This can lead to a breakdown of trust and worsen the situation. Respect their feelings and work together to make gradual changes.

Are there any risks associated with collecting items?

Yes, hoarding can lead to serious risks, such as fire hazards, unsanitary living conditions, and social isolation. It can also have an impact on mental health, such as causing anxiety and depression.

How common is collecting mania?

Collecting mania is estimated to affect 2 to 6% of the population. It is a global phenomenon that can affect people of all ages.

Can the urge to collect be hereditary?

Research suggests that hoarding may in some cases run in families, pointing to a possible genetic component. However, environmental factors and personal experiences also play a significant role in its development.