Q&A- Is There a Treatment for Hoarding?

Susan S. Woods, Ph.D.question and answer with Dr. Susan S. Woods

Q: Is there a treatment that can help with hoarding?

A: Yes,there are treatments that can help the approximately 2to 6% of the population experiencing this terrible disorder which is now classified in the most recent Diagnostic Statistical Manual. Treatments are based in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and others with a rational base.

Often therapists or coaches will go to the home of the hoarder to provide instruction and modeling of the desired treatment outcomes. the treatment can be lengthy and costly and unfortunately, patients are prone to relapse. There are many reasons for hoarding: early trauma, lack of confidence, poor decision making fear of loss and regret etc. Hoarding can start in early adulthood and progressively worsen with age causing enormous stress to the family of the hoarder although the Hoarder may not experience the stress of having all the stuff everywhere but rather stress comes from pressure to throw things away.

Hoarding causes unsanitary and unsafe conditions and can ultimately result in legal difficulties such as shoplifting, animal cruelty, evictions and arrest.

The condition responds best to supportive cognitive techniques. Some medications may help with the accompanying anxiety.

Susan S. Woods, Ph.D.

700 McClellan St ♦ Schenectady, NY 12304 ♦ (518) 372-0166

825 Riverview Rd ♦ Rexford, NY  12148

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