We’ve all seen the shocking TV shows and viral social media photographs of houses full to the brim with ‘stuff’, so much so that the occupants usually don’t have a clear path through their house, or a clear space to even sit in, but what help is there for people who really live like this?
Hoarding (also known as compulsive hoarding) is a psychological disorder which is characterised by the desire to acquire and store unnecessary items and often impacts every single aspect of the sufferer’s life. Aside from being dangerous in terms of being a trip hazard, fire hazard and avalanche risk, the clutter which is built up can also harbour insects, rats and mice which carry diseases.
The dangers of hoarding are very real, and when it comes to treatment the NHS offers Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as well as anti-depressants, however hypnotherapy can also be extremely effective as it can treat all of the symptoms including depression which are often associated with hoarding. The NHS website describes just how hard compulsive hoarding is to treat:
“Hoarding disorders are challenging to treat because many people who hoard frequently do not see it as a problem or have little awareness of how it’s affecting their life or the lives of others. Many do realise they have a problem but are reluctant to seek help because they feel extremely ashamed, humiliated or guilty about it. It’s important to encourage a person who is hoarding to seek help, as their difficulties discarding objects can not only cause loneliness and mental health problems but also pose a health and safety risk. If not tackled, it’s a problem that will probably never go away.”
Hypnotherapy is often very effective in treating compulsive hoarding as there is usually an underlying issue or issues which have led to the hoarding behaviour, or which are a result of the hoarding behaviour and these can all be treated at once, without the need for multiple different therapies for each issue. The hypnotherapist will work with the patient to uncover the true causes of the hoarding, and then work to change this behaviour by communicating with the subconscious mind and altering how is copes with the things that cause the hoarding in the first place.
Hopefully over time, the hoarder can learn to place less emotional significance on the unnecessary items and get rid of the clutter in their homes and minds once and for all.