Definition of hoarding disorder: the extensive collection of objects followed by difficulty discarding them for aesthetic reasons, or because of an object’s emotional value or consideration of its possible usefulness in the future.
The consequence of hoarding objects is accumulation of objects in living spaces, leading to limited space, poor hygiene and feelings of embarrassment.
Items that people hoard can also be those of abstract nature, like hoarding of digital items. Hoarding becomes a “disorder” when it starts to interfere with relationships and functions of daily life.
Many people with hoarding disorders have tremendous difficulties with relationships. Partners and family members suffer from problems associated with the syndrome like cluttering of the living space. As a result of the behavior, hoarders live lonely lives, and are often suffer depression.
Hoarding is a chronic syndrome, and individuals live with this lifelong. With age, the situation can get worse. Support from others and professional psychological aid, where available, help individuals get on well with their lives despite difficulties.
Questionnaires to evaluate hoarding disorder
The Saving Inventory-Revised (SI-R) by Frost et.al (2003).
Compulsive Acquisition Scale (CAS) by Frost et.al (2002).
A major contributing factor in hoarding disorder is the need for control over possessions.
Frost, R. O., Steketee, G., & Kyrios, M. (2003). Saving Inventory–Revised (SI-R).
Frost, R. O., Steketee, G., & Williams, L. (2002). Compulsive buying, compulsive hoarding, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Behavior therapy, 33(2), 201-214.
Frost RO, Steketee G, Williams L. Compulsive buying, compulsive hoarding, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
van Bennekom, M. J., Blom, R. M., Vulink, N., & Denys, D. (2015). A case of digital hoarding. BMJ case reports.