Here are some steps you can take to help care for yourself:
May. 08, 2014
- Stick to your treatment plan. It's hard work, and it's normal to have some setbacks over time. But treatment can help you feel better about yourself and reduce your hoarding.
- Try to keep up personal hygiene and bathing. If you have possessions piled in your tub or shower, resolve to move them so that you can bathe.
- Make sure you're getting proper nutrition. If you can't use your stove or reach your refrigerator, you may not be eating properly. Try to clear those areas so that you can prepare nutritious meals.
- Reach out to others. Hoarding can lead to isolation and loneliness, which in turn can lead to more hoarding. If you don't want visitors in your house, try to get out to see friends and family. Support groups for people with hoarding disorder can let you know that you are not alone and help you learn about your behavior and resources.
- Look out for yourself. Remind yourself that you don't have to live in chaos and distress — that you deserve better.
- Take small steps. With a professional's help, you can tackle one area at a time. Small wins like this can lead to big wins.
- Focus on your goals. To keep motivated to declutter, focus on your goals — living a healthier and more enjoyable life.
- Do what's best for your pets. If the number of pets you have has grown beyond your ability to care for them properly, remind yourself that they deserve to live healthy and happy lives — and that's not possible if you can't provide them with proper nutrition, sanitation and veterinary care.
- Accept assistance. Local resources, professional organizers and loved ones can work with you to make decisions about how best to organize and unclutter your home and to stay safe and healthy.
- Hoarding disorder. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed Feb. 12, 2014.
- Highlights of changes from DSM-IV-TR to DSM-5. American Psychiatric Association. http://www.dsm5.org/Documents/changes%20from%20dsm-iv-tr%20to%20dsm-5.pdf. Accessed Feb. 12, 2014.
- Obsessive compulsive and related disorders. American Psychiatric Association. http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx. Accessed Feb. 12, 2014.
- Hoarding fact sheet. International OCD Foundation. http://www.ocfoundation.org/hoarding/fact_sheet.aspx. Accessed Feb. 12, 2014.
- Hoarding: The basics. Anxiety and Depression Association of America. http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/hoarding-basics. Accessed Feb. 12, 2014.
- Ale CM, et al. Family-based behavioral treatment of pediatric compulsive hoarding: A case example. Clinical Case Studies. 2014;13:9.
- Symonds A, et al. Shining a light on hoarding disorder. Nursing. 2013;43:22.
- Murroff J, et al. Cognitive behavior therapy for hoarding disorder: Follow-up findings and predictors of outcome. Depression and Anxiety. In press. Accessed Feb. 14, 2014.
- Pallanti S, et al. Pharmacological, experimental therapeutic, and transcranial magnetic stimulation treatments for compulsivity and impulsivity. CNS Spectrums. 2014;19:50.
- Whiteside SP (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 3, 2014.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 4, 2014.
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