In addition to professional treatment, here are some steps you can take to help care for yourself:
- 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, improve your motivation and reduce your hoarding.
- 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. It may take time to get back to a safe home environment, and help is often needed to maintain organization around the home.
- 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 visit 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.
- 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.
- Look out for yourself. Remind yourself that you don't have to live in chaos and distress — that you deserve better. Focus on your goals and what you stand to gain by reducing clutter in your home.
- 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.
- 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.
Because little is understood about what causes hoarding disorder, there's no known way to prevent it. However, as with many mental health conditions, getting treatment at the first sign of a problem may help prevent hoarding from getting worse.
May 04, 2017
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