Compulsive hoarding (or pathological hoarding or disposophobia) is the excessive acquisition of possessions (and failure to use or discard them), even if the items are worthless, hazardous, or unsanitary. Compulsive hoarding impairs mobility and interferes with basic activities, including cooking, cleaning, showering, and sleeping. A person who engages in compulsive hoarding is commonly said to be a "pack rat", in reference to that animal's characteristic hoarding. It is not clear whether compulsive hoarding is an isolated disorder, or rather a symptom of another condition, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder.
While there is no clear definition of compulsive hoarding in accepted diagnostic criteria (such as the current DSM), Frost and Hartl (1996) provide the following defining features:
According to Sanjaya Saxena, MD, director of the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders Program at the University of California, San Diego, compulsive hoarding in its worst forms can cause fires, unclean conditions (e.g. rat and roach infestations), injuries from tripping on clutter and other health and safety hazards. The hoarder may mistakenly believe that the hoarded items are very valuable, or the hoarder may know that the accumulated items are useless, or may attach a strong personal value to items which they recognize would have little or no value to others. A hoarder of the first kind may show off a cutlery set claiming it to be made of silver and mother-of-pearl, disregarding the fact that the packaging clearly states the cutlery is made of steel and plastic. A hoarder of the second type may have a refrigerator filled with uneaten food items months past their expiration dates, but in some cases would vehemently resist any attempts from relatives to dispose of the unusable food. In other cases the hoarder will recognize the need to clean the refrigerator, but due (in part) to feelings that doing so would be an exercise in futility, and overwhelmed by the similar condition of the rest of their living space, fails to do so.
If you are a hoarder or have been tasked with cleaning the home of a hoarder, please follow these simple steps.
We do not want to rush you through this process. It can be a very difficult and time consuming process to convince a hoarder to allow someone into their home, especially if personal items are going to be disturbed. Our staff understands this and will wait as long as needed to commence the cleanup and remediation work.
After you contact Bio-Trauma 911, Inc., we will start the preliminary paperwork. If the home owner is not ready to begin the process, we will file the paperwork and wait for the appropriate time to move forward with the process. Please contact us at 1-800-759-6960 when you are ready to discuss our hoarding and gross filth cleanup services.
This web page uses material from the Wikipedia article "Compulsive Hoarding", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0
As a friend or family member, you have been made aware of a death or serious accident involving blood and bodily fluids. How should you proceed?
You have just been made aware that a family member is living in a house that is full of trash, debris, feces and other biohazards. How should you proceed?
A relative passed away several weeks ago and has only recently discovered. You have been asked to handle the situation. How should you proceed?
The following excerpt has been provided by OSHA.
"OSHA estimates that 5.6 million workers in the health care industry and related occupations are at risk of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and others. All occupational exposure to blood or Other Potentially Infectious Materials (OPIM) place workers at risk for infection with bloodborne pathogens. OSHA defines blood to mean human blood, human blood components, and products made from human blood. Other Potentially Infectious Materials (OPIM) means: