Treatment of Hoarding
Compulsive hoarding is treatable.
However, simply throwing away or organizing a hoarder's possessions will not solve their problems.
Understand that people who hoard often view their items as precious and useful. Do not regard it as "trash" or "stuff"; possibly discuss having it be useful (for self, others, donations, etc.).
All people with significant hoarding behaviors need behavioral health evaluation and intervention to be successful.
Thorough assessment and treatment planning are required.
Specific medications for depression (if indicated) and cognitive-behavioral therapy can be effective.
Helping the Person Who Hoards Build Clean-up Skills
- With the person, select a target and start small.
- Assess items in the area.
- Use a sorting technique that works for the individual.
- Don't leave the area empty.
- Maintain the gain.
- Target the next area.