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HealthInfo West Coast-Te Tai Poutini

Hoarding

Picture of a house overtaken by hoarding clutterMany people like to collect items, or hold on to some things for sentimental reasons. But for some people the desire to have and keep things grows out of control. They can't get rid of things that most people see as rubbish.

Their homes become cluttered, often causing a fire or health hazard. They collect so much it interferes with their relationships and ability to do everyday tasks, and even with moving around.

This is called hoarding, or compulsive hoarding.

Sometimes hoarding can be part of another mental disorder such as severe anxiety, depression or dementia. Someone who struggles with hoarding can get help with support to change their behaviour and if needed, treatment for the underlying problem.

If you need help for yourself or someone else, talk to your GP.

The links and resources below offer some insights into what contributes to hoarding and steps you can take to help yourself or someone close to you.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed September 2020.

Page reference: 313114

Review key: HIHOA-313114