Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Treatment of hoarding disorder can be challenging because many people don't recognize the negative impact of hoarding on their lives or don't believe they need treatment. This is especially true if their possessions or animals offer comfort. And people whose possessions or animals are taken away will often quickly collect more to help fulfill emotional needs.

There are two main types of treatment for hoarding disorder — psychotherapy and medications.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, is the primary treatment. Cognitive behavior therapy is the most common form of psychotherapy used to treat hoarding disorder. Try to find a therapist or other mental health provider who has experience in treating hoarding disorder.

As part of cognitive behavior therapy, you may:

  • Explore why you feel compelled to hoard
  • Learn to organize and categorize possessions to help you decide which ones to discard
  • Improve your decision-making and coping skills
  • Declutter your home during in-home visits by a therapist or professional organizer
  • Learn and practice relaxation skills
  • Attend family or group therapy
  • Have periodic visits or ongoing treatment to help you keep up healthy habits

Medications

Although the primary intervention for hoarding disorder is psychotherapy, research continues on the most effective ways to use medications in the treatment of hoarding disorder. The medications most commonly used are a type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

May. 08, 2014

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