Now that we've discussed the symptoms of hoarding, let's see how you evaluate your own symptoms. Answer the questions as honestly as you can. The following questions are not meant to be a scientific tool, but to help you understand yourself better.
Answer the following questions by answering "yes" or "no":
- Do you have difficulty throwing things away or get anxious when thinking about discarding your possessions?
- Do you have so many possessions that your rooms are cluttered?
- Do you often feel an urge to buy things or acquire free things, but know you really don't need them?
- Do you often decide to purchase or acquire items even if you know you have no space for them?
- Do you have possessions taking up so much floor space that it's difficult to move around the room?
- Have you ever not been able to use a piece of furniture (sofa, table, chair) for it's intended purpose b/c it was used as storage space for your possessions?
- Have you ever been so embarrassed by the number of your possessions that you did not want people to see certain rooms in your house?
- Has saving or acquiring possessions resulted in financial strain for you or your family?
- Has the number of your possessions ever been the reason for arguments or disagreements within your family?
- Do you often feel like you need additional storage space?
- Have your possessions ever been damaged because of inadequate storage space?
- Have you ever shoplifted as a way of acquiring possessions?
- Have you ever been arrested for shoplifting?
- Do you spend 30 minutes/30 minutes - 2 hours/more than 2 hours a day looking for objects around your house?
- Do you spend 30 minutes/30 minutes-2 hours/more than 2 hours a day related to your saving behaviors including thinking about your possessions?
If you find yourself answering "yes" to a lot of the questions above, we strongly urge you to get the book (cited below) and seek a professional counselor to help you with your hoarding behavior. You are not alone, and you do have options. We have much more information we'll be sharing with you this week on hoarding. Thank you for reading!
*Source: Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding by Fugen Neziroglu, Jerome Bubrick, and Jose A. Yaryura-Tobias
Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC, LCAC
*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.