Hoarding: A Stigmatized Condition
When Bio-One has done previous jobs for clients who hoard, there has never been one exactly the same. Every scenario is unique to the client. Some clients may hoard a variety of objects, and some may focus on particular items. Most of the time though, the objects consist of newspapers, magazines, books, plastic bags, or household supplies. Some people also hoard animals. “In the USA, 3500 animal hoarders are reported to the authorities every year.” Most of these animals have diseases or are found dead on the property.
No matter what the person is hoarding, it can cause the house to become an obstacle course full of dangers. When items are piled to the ceiling, you run the risk of them avalanching down, there will be trip hazards, fire hazards, and infestations can follow as well. The hoard can cause structural damage to the home, and in the case of an emergency, the first responders may not be able to get to resident.
Historically, hoarding was always thought to be an underlying mental health issue. “It has been associated with a wide range of conditions, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, and schizophrenia. A third of people with autism spectrum disorder are thought to hoard particular items.” In 2018, the World Health Organization added hoarding to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), in hopes to promote research and take this disorder more seriously. It is their hope that this will lead to a more sympathetic representation of hoarding in the media and more respect for the people with live with this disorder.
At Bio-One, we understand that taking the first step to remove items from your home is not easy. We aim to take a compassionate approach, listen to your needs and wants, find important belongings, and most importantly, make your house a healthy home.
Rebecca & Gabriel Montenegro
Hoarding disorder: A medical condition. (2018). The Lancet, 392(10148), 626. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31983-4