There’s big news this month for those dealing with hoarding. The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified hoarding as a medical condition in the mental health category. This is important to many of us for two reasons:
- It shows international recognition of hoarding disorder as a mental health condition
- It gives standard diagnostic criteria that, over time, will be adopted around the world
North America and the United Kingdom (among other countries) have already changed the categorization and diagnostic criteria for hoarding in the past few years. To have the international community come alongside is important for the accurate diagnosis, treatment, and general discussions about hoarding disorder. I hope it also decreases the stigma of hoarding and encourages more people to seek help.
If you are struggling with hoarding behaviors or know someone who is struggling, this WHO classification can be very helpful. It’s a reminder that hoarding is not about being messy, lazy, or any other unhelpful labels. Hoarding disorder is a mental health condition that is diagnosed by a clinician using specific criteria. You can read more about what hoarding is here.
The purpose of The Declutter Coach is to provide real solutions to overwhelming clutter. Not everyone who visits here has been diagnosed with hoarding. Whether you are diagnosed or not, please know that there is hope for you to live a healthy and happy life with less clutter! Please also know that hoarding disorder is a serious mental health condition that will absolutely benefit from treatment from a qualified practitioner.
I hope that visiting this site gives you some practical solutions that you can use in your life as you work on letting go of things and change your behaviors, so you acquire less. The WHO classification helps us all to remember that there are people around the world facing hoarding behaviors and hoarding disorder and there are people around the world who care deeply about this issue and are actively researching, providing interventions, supporting, and looking for the best treatments. If you are overwhelmed by clutter, you are not alone!
One of the unique things about hoarding disorder is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all treatment. Some people find that Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) makes a huge difference. Some find that treating anxiety and/or depression empowers them to eliminate clutter. Others have found inspiration and encouragement from support groups, therapy, and websites like this one. Give yourself permission to try a variety of options and give them time to work. You’ll find things that help, and things that don’t help. That’s OK! Whatever you do, you’ll be learning more about hoarding, about yourself, and about how to create the life you want.
You CAN create a life with less clutter!