Hoarding or Collecting?

Some throw the term "hoarder"around loosely about people who collect a lot of a particular items from a point of interest.  But not all collectors are suffer from hoarding. If you know someone who collects, you probably know that collectors take great care in keeping their possessions and take pride in showing others.  Collections are often on display, or proudly showcased in curio cabinets.  My sons collect Poke mon cards and you will hear all about every one if you ever encounter one of my boys!  Collectors spend time and research their collections and often congregate with other collectors or people with similar interests.  Collectors usually plan and budget for their loved purchases.  Collectors also feel satisfied and proud when they add to their collection.

On the other hand, hoarders often feel embarrassed about the amount of items they may have accumulated.  One might purchase an item with an intended function for it, but will not usually follow through.  That item will likely be duplicated and duplicated with further purchases.  With all of these items, the owner often ends up in a cluttered state.  Often times the clutter builds to the point that the owner's living space is compromised.

Often times hoarding behavior results in debt and financial woes.  Often people feel worse or depressed after making the purchase, much like how one would feel after eating an entire pint of ice cream.

Sometimes the clutter accumulated results in hoarders not inviting people to their homes. Hoarders may avoid repair work desperately needed due to embarrassment. They may forego assistance from friends and family when needed in order to hide their clutter.

As you can see, there is a difference between hoarding and collecting.

Please stay tuned as Christy and Joleen continue to explore addressing hoarding behavior.  As always, thanks for stopping by!

*Source: Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding by Fugen Neziroglu, Jerome Bubrick, and Jose A. Yaryura-Tobias


Written by Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT

Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT  is a licensed therapist and Registered Play Therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Alexa enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Alexa also does play therapyfamily counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.