Psychiatry Fast Five Quiz: Test Your Knowledge of Hoarding Disorder

Stephen Soreff, MD


March 10, 2017

Hoarding may be divided into two subcategories: object hoarding and animal hoarding. The most prominent difference between object hoarding and animal hoarding is the extent of unsanitary conditions and the poorer insight characteristic of animal hoarders. Lacking insight into their behavior and its consequences, they frequently do not comprehend that they are not adequately providing for the animals and are placing them in harm's way. Most individuals who hoard animals also hoard inanimate objects.

Hoarders rarely recognize their condition and may only be prodded into seeking help by concerned family and friends. Clinical clues regarding the presence of hoarding disorder include cellulitis or skin infections due to living in squalid conditions. Patients may also have fractures due to falls caused by tripping over accumulated objects. The course of hoarding tends to be chronic and progressive, with symptoms starting in the teens and severity increasing with age. Hence, the amount of hoarded material may greatly increase over time.

For more about the presentation of hoarding disorder, read here.


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