Have you been reported by a neighbor or threatened with the police as your property and grounds present a health and fire hazard to others? Is it hard for you to part with things? Is every little gift and item from family and friends stuffed in a drawer somewhere over the years until there is no more space in your house and you are a victim of your own illness? Hoarding is an illness. Do you want to change your behavior and not be a victim? It is not an easy disorder to overcome, but with time and treatment it can be done.
Excessive collection of items over the years
According to the Mayo Clinic most victims do not accept the fact that they are hoarders and do not believe that there is anything the matter with them and that their behavior is normal. They cry and have anxiety when you suggest that excessive hoarding is a disorder and that they need treatment. Usually they have collected an excessive amount of items over the years and are unable to give things away or discard them. Their homes are stacked with clutter such as pots and pans in the sinks, dirty dishes, pizza boxes, old wrappers, rotten food, and the rooms are piled up with boxes, furniture and old newspapers from the fifties. You can virtually fill several trucks to remove all the stacked-up contents of the home. For those hoarders who also collect animals, there are usually dozens of pets who are being neglected and live in unsanitary conditions; some with matted hair and skin conditions and even some animals which have died.
Hoarding an obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
Vets or family members are usually the first to spot signs of animal hoarding when pet owners seek help for their sick or injured animals. If someone in your family has difficulty discarding things and saves old bottles or boxes of clothes and unable to either throw out what he or she does not need, the time for a visit to the doctor is due. Hoarding usually starts from a young age and symptoms are more severe later in life if the person is left untreated. Consult a mental health provider as soon as you can. Where health and safety is an issue you may also need to contact local authorities such as the police, fire, public health or animal welfare agencies.