When should a doctor get involved?

People with hoarding disorder rarely seek help on their own. Concerned friends or family members often reach out to a professional to help a loved one with the condition.

Contact a doctor or mental health professional if hoarding makes a living situation unhealthy or unsafe for you or someone you know. A therapist can evaluate the situation and recommend treatments to help manage symptoms for a healthier life and home.

How do doctors diagnose hoarding disorder?

To diagnose hoarding disorder, a doctor will ask about your collecting and saving habits. To confirm a diagnosis, the following symptoms must be present:

  • Ongoing difficulty getting rid of possessions whether they have value or not
  • Feelings of distress associated with discarding items
  • Living spaces so filled with possessions they are unusable

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