Weatherford Democrat

Extension News

February 17, 2013

Hoarding: the effects of obsessive keepers

By KATHY SMITH

Between 700,000 and 1.4 million people in the United States have compulsive hoarding behaviors.

It is defined as the excessive collection of items along with the inability to discard them. Hoarding can create cramped and hazardous living conditions that could pose health risks. Hoarding can interfere with daily tasks including bathing and cooking. Above all, the clutter or hoarded items can be a safety and a fire hazard.

Some of the characteristics of a hoarder are an individual who has accumulated large quantities of objects, documents, papers, animals or possessions beyond apparent necessity or pleasure. They struggle with parting and letting go of possessions. They may have a wide range of interests and uncompleted projects. They may be a chronically disorganized person gets distracted easily and has weak time-management skills. A hoarder often makes decisions differently than a non-hoarder. People who hoard do not see these characteristics as a problem.

Clutter for hoarders gives a feeling of safety and comfort. People who hoard usually have very few relationships. The ones they do have, they have had for a long time. Often hoarding has been caused by a traumatic life-changing event such as the loss of a divorce, death of a relative, loss of job, losing possessions in a disaster. If a person has not adequately dealt with this trauma, it can trigger a hoarding problem.

Hoarding can affect anyone regardless of sex, age or economic status. People are more likely to hoard if they had family members who did.

Often hoarders are perfectionists. They worry about making the right decision about what should be done with each possession. And when they can’t make the decision, they tend to keep it.

You should seek help from a doctor if clutter and difficulty in discarding things is a problem. This condition usually surfaces in the teenage years. As the person gets older they start to acquire things which there are not need or space. By middle age, when the condition is diagnosed, symptoms are usually severe and difficult to treat.

Text Only
Extension News
  • easter eggs.jpg EXTENSION NEWS: Enjoy Easter eggs safely

    Eggs have been used to celebrate spring festivals for centuries. Immigrant settlers brought symbolic Easter rabbits and colored eggs to America. Since then, Easter egg hunts have been beloved by children everywhere.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • brushing teeth.jpg EXTENSION NEWS: Take care of your teeth

    Surveys show that 90 percent of adults have an average of 23.5 teeth. Almost a third of adults have all 28 teeth and 50 percent age 55 and older wear partial or complete dentures.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • MILLSAP MATTERS: Many activities set for April

    MILLSAP — With April just around the corner, the Millsap Heritage Society is busy preparing for the upcoming Log Cabin Days Festival.  The two day event is a highlight of springtime for our area.

    March 29, 2014

  • Kathy smith mug.jpg EXTENSION NEWS: Empty calories

    Many of the foods and beverages that we consume contain empty calories. These are calories that have almost no nutrients, but have calories. Most of these foods have solid fats and added sugars. Learning more about solid fats and sugars can help you make better food and drink choices.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • EXTENSION NEWS: Walking is wonderful

    With the weather getting warmer and days longer, now is the time to get outside to walk.

    March 23, 2014

  • EXTENSION NEWS: Chia seeds can have some health benefits

    There has been a lot in news about the health benefits of chia seeds. Chia seeds do to have some great benefits. However, the science so far hasn’t supported all of the advertised claims that these seeds have received.

    March 16, 2014

  • overweight rgb.jpg EXTENSION NEWS: Getting more zzzs could help you lose some lbs.

    We spend about one-third of our lifetime sleeping. Sleep is important for learning and memory. Sleep also helps our immune system to resist illness and disease, increases response times in emergencies, improves our mood and feelings of wellness and gives us the energy we need to be more active and alert.

    March 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • EXTENSION NEWS: When thirsty, think water first

    If you have kids or other family members who don’t drink enough water, you should encourage them. Rather than choosing a soda or fruit drinks to quench a thirst, choose water first.

    March 2, 2014

  • EXTENSION NEWS: Peanut butter can be a hearty choice for nutrition

    Peanut butter can offer the same health benefits that peanuts do. Peanuts are a legume and can give you the same health benefits as true tree nuts, such as almonds and walnuts.

    February 23, 2014

  • EXTENSION NEWS: Baking a way for families to cook up fun times together

    Baking can be a fun way to spend time together as a family. It can be inexpensive and be a great way to share baking traditions, recipes and family heritage that can be handed down for many generations.

    February 16, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case