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How Can I Help Myself?

Hoarders do not always recognize they have a problem. If you are seeking support for your problem, then that is a good first step, but if you are a friend, family member or supporter of a person with hoarding disorder, then are things you can do to help this person with their problem and to reclaim their life and their space.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques can be helpful for understanding the many reasons why you hoard items and providing you with step-by-step strategies to declutter your home without suffering emotional distress. These therapies range from individual to group, web-based to consulting room-based and include some home-based sessions. Studies have demonstrated that for treatment to be effective there needs to be a mixture of the consulting room and home-based sessions.

Research has concluded that medication is not helpful in the treatment of hoarding disorder. However, those people with other conditions such as depression and anxiety may find that medication may be of benefit in improving their mood and reducing their anxiety levels, which will enable them to engage better in dealing with their hoarding issues. Medication is best discussed with a doctor or psychiatrist. If you are affected by these issues and are taking medication, it is important to take it as prescribed and, if you have any concerns or worries, you should consult your doctor. Stopping medication without prior discussion with your doctor is not advisable.