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Is hoarding a mental disorder that is passed from generation to generation, or a

  1. tlpoague profile image85
    tlpoagueposted 5 years ago

    Is hoarding a mental disorder that is passed from generation to generation, or a learned trait?

    This is a debate in my family. Some believe that extreme frugal living/hoarder is a mental disorder that is passed from generation to generation, while others think it is a learned trait that can be fixed. I am curious to see what would trigger it and how others helped their family members, or themselves.

  2. silentnomore profile image61
    silentnomoreposted 5 years ago

    I think the answer to your question is: Both.  My husband was raised in a hoarded home that was really bad.  I was raised in a clean, but lived in home.  We always cleaned the house and dusted and vacuumed, but my mom was not obsessive about it  She had 6 kids and she knew the house was never going to be perfect, but it was always picked up and clean.  When my husband Mark and I started talking marriage I let him know right away that I could not live in a hoarded home and that if there was any part of him that was associated with the hoard in his mother's home, we may have a problem.  Mark said he was not a hoarder and we have been married over 20 years and we have a perfectly clean house.  The only hoarding tendency I see in my husband is books.  He loves to read and he has a lot of books, but we have bookshelves and I told him as long as he keeps them on the shelves that is fine with me.  He reads them then he sells them at a store that sells used books and things are just fine. 
         Mark has a brother, Peter, who "inherited" his family hoarding situation.  I do feel like hoarding is a mental disorder and one that needs a lot of help.  We have had family members reach out to help Peter, but with little success.  He filled up an entire house and had to move into another house and he already has that one almost full.  He takes home anything and everything and he gets rid of very little.  He needs help, but he doesn't see it as a problem, and if someone cannot see that they need help they will never accept the help and get better. 
         My mother-in-law on the other hand has had to move from her hoarded home to an assisted living facility where she and my father-in-law are in a small apartment.  She has had to change her ways,  The facility has regular inspections and she has to keep their apartment clean and hoard free or they cannot continue to live there.  She is doing a great job and I am proud of the huge strides she has made in just two years.  I think there is hope for everyone, they just need to be able to accept the help to move forward.  Good luck to you and your family.

  3. Sky9106 profile image76
    Sky9106posted 5 years ago

    Hoarding as I came to understand, what is is in the US, and have looked at and enjoyed quite a few of the the different ways they are displayed on the television,  can only be considered to be a mental disorder, when it has become addictive enough to take over ones sense of rationality.
    That's when one have lost the sense of why they even do what they do .  I really don't think this is difficult one there are caring others that truly knows how to describe why that particular way proves detrimental and could be a case of both.

    My darling mother would not even understand the word Hoarding! I had to make two trip to NY to clear up hers residence for her , but she knew what she had and where everything was at 90. But I knew I would be able to sit with her and speak like the son she knows I am . The key is Love. It conquers all.
    Hope I was a little help tipoague.

  4. sofs profile image81
    sofsposted 5 years ago

    Hoarding or compulsive hoarding is a problem of mental health that needs to be understood and treated. This article aims to help understand the hoarder and the problem of hoarding. read more

  5. tlpoague profile image85
    tlpoagueposted 5 years ago

    Thanks for the comments and thoughts on this subject. It helps to know that it can be caused by a mental disorder. I will be sure to pass this information on to other members of my family. Thanks Sofs for writing a hub about it.

  6. alexarpoe profile image60
    alexarpoeposted 5 years ago

    Hoarding is a part of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and OCD is believed to be both genetic and environmental, meaning that you may or may not be born with the genetics, but those genes may also be triggered by stressful life events, such as a family death, etc.