SAN DIEGO, Aug. 11 The piles of dusty camping gear, toolsand holiday decorations in your garage may simply be an annoyance you arewaiting to organize, but for the estimated two million Americans who sufferfrom compulsive hoarding, those spare items are just a glimpse of what laysinside their homes.
Compulsive hoarders are characterized by a strong compulsion to collectunneeded or useless items. They are often unable to discard items for the fearthat they may be needed or have value in the future. Every surface in theirhomes, from countertops to stairs, may be covered in piles of junk. When thestacks of old newspapers and food containers threaten to overwhelm them, itcan spread to their vehicles, backyards and garages. While some may poke funat hoarders, the condition can lead to unsanitary living environments, firehazards and even risk of injury from falling objects.
How can you find out if you are a hoarder or just disorganized? Askyourself these questions to find out how serious your problem is:
If you answered yes to any of the questions above and believe you are ahoarder, the California Association Marriage and Family Therapists encouragesyou to seek help from a licensed therapist to:
Do not let hoarding take over your home or your life. If you believe youare affected by compulsive hoarding, and it affects your ability to lead anormal life, consider seeking professional consultation. A licensed therapistcan help you identify the underlying issues behind hoarding and assist you onyour way to recovery.
For more information about Marriage and Family Therapists, or to locate atherapist in your area, please visit http://www.TherapistFinder.com.
The California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, with 27chapters throughout the state, is an independent professional organization,representing the interests of licensed marriage and family therapists. CAMFTprovides TherapistFinder.com as a resource to the public looking for marriageand family therapists located in California. For more information about CAMFT,please call (858) 292-2638 or visit http://www.camft.org.-- Do you become anxious at the thought of throwing away your things? -- Is your home so cluttered you are unable to use spaces for their original purpose? -- Do everyday tasks take longer because of the clutter? -- Does the clutter affect your ability to maintain relationships or socialize? -- Are loved ones distressed by the condition of your home and encouraging you to seek help?