A diagnosis is made via a medical professional’s evaluation, based on specific diagnostic criteria.
Medical professionals distinguish hoarding from temporary accumulation of stuff and clutter (for example, when property is inherited) because hoarding persists.
It differs from collecting things (such as books or figurines) because hoarding, unlike collecting, is disorganised and interferes with the individual’s ability to use the cluttered rooms.
Medical professionals diagnose hoarding disorder whens
- Individuals persistently have difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value.
- Individuals save items mainly because they feel they must, regardless of the item’s value.
- The accumulated possessions congest and clutter active living areas (not basements or storage areas) and interfere with using these areas for their intended purpose.
- Individuals feel greatly distressed by the thought of discarding any of their possessions and/or become less able to function (at work, in their family, or with friends) because of the hoarding.