Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Hoarding isn't yet considered an official, distinct disorder. However, it appears to be more common in people with psychological disorders, such as alcohol dependence, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, anxiety and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

To help diagnose compulsive hoarding disorder, mental health providers perform a thorough psychological evaluation. They ask many questions about your obsessions, compulsions and emotional well-being and may also ask your permission to talk with your relatives and friends.

To diagnose hoarding, mental health providers check for three main characteristics:

  • Acquisition of a large number of possessions that others would consider useless, along with an inability to discard them
  • Having an overly cluttered home or living spaces — so cluttered that living spaces can't be used as intended, such as not being able to sleep in your bed, take a bath in your tub, or prepare food in your kitchen
  • Having significant distress over your hoarding or difficulty accomplishing your daily activities
May. 25, 2011