Hoarding disorder can affect anyone, regardless of age, sex or economic status. It's not clear, though, how common hoarding disorder is. That's partly because some people never seek treatment.

Risk factors include:

  • Age. Hoarding usually starts around ages 11 to 15, and it tends to get worse with age. Younger children may start saving items, such as broken toys, pencil nubs, outdated school papers and broken appliances. Hoarding is more common in older adults than in younger adults.
  • Personality. Many people who have hoarding disorder have a temperament that includes indecisiveness.
  • Family history. There is a strong association between having a family member who has hoarding disorder and having the disorder yourself.
  • Stressful life events. Some people develop hoarding disorder after experiencing a stressful life event that they had difficulty coping with, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, eviction or losing possessions in a fire.
  • Social isolation. People with hoarding disorder are typically socially withdrawn and isolated. In many cases, the hoarding leads to social isolation. But, on the other hand, some people may turn to the comfort of hoarding because they're lonely.
May. 08, 2014

You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.