From Pack Rat To Hoarder

2:42 PM, Aug 29, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- This week 2WTK is focused on how your behavior affects your time, your money and your health.

Look at the attached scaled a therapist would use to diagnose someone with a hoarding disorder. The picture is from the book Compulsive Hoarding And Acquiring: Therapist Guide ( Author Gail Steketee)

Dr. Annette Perot, a licensed Psychologist, explained how therapists use the scale. Box 4 is when a doctor can diagnose a Hoarding Issue. The problems come when the clutter starts impacting everyday life.

Hoarding is now considered a mental illness. It was under the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder heading, but is it's own illness.

Dr. Perot says there are three basic behaviors of hoarding: excessive acquiring of things, trouble figuring out what to keep and how to organize it, difficulty in discarding possessions.

Hoarding is extreme. But pack rats and even anyone who saves anything all have the same roots: usually it's because it speaks to their identity or it has sentimental value.

Dr. Perot says hoarders are creative in their thinking of their stuff. They see limitless possibilities for each thing.

Some of the ways therapists help hoarders is to get them to find other ways to experience enjoyment, besides buying or keeping things.

For the everyday pack rat, Dr. Perot says ask yourself, "Do I have a specific use for this item?, Do I have space for this and Do i already have something similar to this?".

Find a therapist near you.

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