Psychiatry Fast Five Quiz: Test Your Knowledge of Hoarding Disorder

Stephen Soreff, MD


March 10, 2017

Congested and cluttered living areas are a diagnostic criterion for hoarding disorder, and conducting a home visit and viewing photos of the main living areas are frequently the best ways to assess hoarding disorder. It may also be helpful to speak to friends and family members because hoarders often lack insight into their disorder and frequently do not view their condition as harmful or abnormal. Visits to the residence demonstrate the importance of firsthand observations. If home visits are not conducted, clinicians may fail to comprehend the full extent of the clutter.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) criteria, hoarding involves a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value, due to a perceived need to save the items and to distress associated with discarding them. It often leads to an accumulation of possessions that congest and clutter living areas and substantially compromise their intended use. It causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning and is not attributable to another medical condition or better explained by the symptoms of another mental disorder.

Read more about the diagnosis of hoarding disorder here.


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