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High-Risk Warning Signs of Hoarding

Background concept wordcloud illustration of hoarding

Here at Urban Environmental, we have been called to our fair share of cleanups on hoarding sites. Often this is because of the biohazards that come with an individual who has been hoarding for some years. We have had to deal with human waste, and animal decomposition along with other things, so take it from us, hoarding is a severe disease that needs to be monitored. Thus, we have brought together some high-risk signs of hoarding to look for in your friends and family.

Clutter Collection

More than just a few odds and ends, clutter collecting will begin to dominate the way in which an individual moves within their home. Whether you are dealing with excess furniture or an inability to remove trash from the house, clutter collection is a dangerous warning sign of hoarding. Clutter is a gateway to hoarding, and if not taken care of, can lead to clutter covering every single centre metre of space in a home.

Social Anxiety

Social anxiety by itself is not a risk sign of hoarding, but in a combination of a few of the other risk signs, it can showcase a trend towards hoarding. Generally, before an individual begins to hoard they will remove themselves from social relationships, and thus social anxiety when combined with isolation can lead to hoarding.

Alcohol Dependence

One of the major issues when it comes to hoarding is alcohol dependence, and although there is no cemented link between the two diseases, one thing that is clear is that they both stem from an addictive personality. Alcohol is a poison in two ways. First, it ensures an individual is not taking care of their body, and secondly will only add to the clutter in a home.

Early Warning Signs

It is has been shown throughout the years that children and teens that gravitate towards collecting broken objects and trash could be showing early signs of hoarding. This does not mean that a child who likes to collect seashells is going to be a hoarder, but if someone is collecting garbage throughout their teen years without creating something out of it, they may be showing early behaviours towards a future of hoarding.

Family History

One of the current focuses for researchers around hoarding has been the link between an individual and their family with the disease. It has not been proven that genetics play a role in the condition, but current data shows a correlation between family members with hoarding disorders and an individual with the same disease. Researchers are currently engaged in some studies across North America on determining if hoarding is a genetic bond or a learned trait.

Hoarding is a severe disease, and the team at Urban Environmental is hopeful that these early warning signs will help you or a family member identify and take corrective measures with a loved one before we need to get involved.