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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q. What is hoarding?

Hoarding may be defined when the following situations occur:

  • The excessive accumulation of things or animals and/or the failure to discard (proportionately); in the case of animals, the failure to provide adequate care

  • Activities of daily living are impaired by spaces, which cannot be used for their intended use

  • When distress or impairment in functioning is caused to either the person hoarding or to other people around them

Q. What is cluttering?

In cluttering situations, even though spaces may have excessive accumulation, clutterers can throw things away more easily and with much less distress. The clutter does not debilitate their lives to the same degree. What is not known, is whether cluttering is a phase in the progression towards hoarding.

Q. Are there different types of hoarding behaviour?

Yes. The different types of hoarding are:

  1. Standard hoarding, which occurs in 5% to 6% of the general population, and is split into three types: Indiscriminate, who save everything, usually chaotically, discriminate, who save one, or a few types of things, sometimes stored neatly, and combined hoarding, where the disorder has progressed so far that collections and indiscriminate objects become one pile.

  2. Diogenes Syndrome, which occurs in 0.05% of the general population

  3. Animal Hoarding has no accepted prevalence rate in the general population. There can also be Standard Hoarding or Diogenes Syndrome with animal involvement (where suffering and deprivation exists) even if the numbers do not support being called Animal Hoarding

Q. What are the essential components for successful outcomes?

Successful Hoarding solutions require 2 things:

  1. Getting people help for the reasons they Hoard

  2. Cleaning up the property which is the by-product of the untreated behaviour

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