I know that we toss around the term “hoarder” a lot. It’s become very casual over the years, and people are quick to accuse someone of being a hoarder. But the truth is that it is a real disorder. It can exist on its own, or it can be a symptom of a more serious condition such as depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Hoarding is a compulsion and when we start to understand compulsions at large, it becomes easy to see how and why there are so many types. Binge eating is a compulsion. Sex with strangers is a compulsion. Drinking is a compulsion. Gambling is a compulsion. Though we may see how any of the above-listed activities are appealing during times of stress, and don’t see how hoarding fits into that category, it’s just important to see that, when someone is mentally or emotionally unwell, that can manifest itself in many ways. If we can accept the more obvious ones like substance abuse and compulsive spending, then we can begin to perhaps accept the less mainstream ones, like hoarding or cutting one’s own hair. Hoarding can happen for many reasons. And, like the other compulsions listed, it can ultimately rule and destroy your life. Just like booze. Just like drugs. Just like sex with strangers. These all have long-term side effects. But because hoarding doesn’t seem as immediately dangerous as, say, binge drinking, we can ignore the early signs. Don’t. Here are signs you or a loved one are becoming a hoarder.
Justifying odd purchases
There are reasons to buy anything. You could come up with a justification to purchase literally every object presented to you. Your mind works that way: looking for reasons to buy something, rather than not to buy something. When you go into any type of store, and you look at items, your mind buzzes with odd scenarios in which you may need each one.