In hoarding disorder, individuals persistently have such difficulty discarding or parting with possessions that objects accumulate and clutter living areas enough to make them unusable.
Unlike collectors, individuals accumulate things in a disorganised way and have difficulty parting with things of little value.
Medical professionals diagnose the disorder when individuals accumulate too many possessions, have great difficulty parting with these possessions, and are significantly distressed or are less able to function because of the hoarding.
Certain antidepressants and cognitive-behavioural therapy may help.
Hoarding symptoms often begin during adolescence.
The disorder may be mild at first but may gradually worsen as individuals age, causing substantial problems by the time individuals are in their mid-30s.
About 2 to 6% of individuals are thought to have this disorder.