Bio-One Of Orange decontamination and biohazard cleaning services

Hoarding disorder - Five things you should know before approaching a hoarding situation

Hoarding disorder - Five things you should know before approaching a hoarding situation

Helping someone struggling with a hoarding disorder may be easier said than done, and the reason is simple: most people don’t know what to do to help. A person struggling with hoarding disorder needs more help than cleaning and being stripped away from their possessions (that is what they feel if the approach is not done properly). 


Hoarding is a mental health disorder that affects up to 5% of the world’s population. People dealing with hoarding disorder experience difficulty with throwing or giving away their possessions, no matter how “useless” these things may seem for others. 


Old magazines, newspapers, books, clothing, shoes, food… the list goes on and on. The things one may consider to be trash or recycling material have a completely different meaning for someone struggling with hoarding. There is usually an emotional attachment to these possessions that must be treated for hoarders to detach from them. 


Our certified technicians at Bio-One of Orange understand that every hoarding situation is unique, which is why our approach is always founded on trying to help the individual struggling with hoarding disorder get the help they need, while we take care of the possible hazardous situations that have resulted from the clutter and hoarding lifestyle. At the end of the day, cluttered spaces are dangerous for humans and animals, as there are risks of falls, fire, disease, and infections. 

Hoarding poses limitations to daily activities like cooking, cleaning, and walking around freely.

If you’re looking to help a friend, a family member, or someone from your community who may be struggling with hoarding disorder, here are five things you should know:  


  • The individual is likely to show resistance to letting others into their house: Hoarding scenarios may be complicated. It’s normal for people struggling with hoarding disorder to isolate themselves from others, and they won’t admit that they need help (unless the situation becomes so dangerous that they need to be taken out from the property). 


  • The individual may be dealing with more than just hoarding: People struggling with hoarding disorder may be dealing with other mental health conditions like anxiety, schizophrenia, and depression. It’s still very hard to determine why do people develop hoarding disorder, but a history of mental health conditions in the family, and a traumatic life event may have triggered this condition in the individual.


  • Hoarding is not the same as collecting: People often mistake collecting with hoarding disorder. The main differentiator between these two lies in how the individual looks at their possessions. A collector is usually proud to show off his/her collections, as it is possible it may have taken time and effort to put everything together. Hoarders, on the other hand, usually feel ashamed of their living conditions, as it’s impossible to carry out normal activities like cleaning, cooking, and walking around the house. Their belongings are typically scattered around.


  • The individual has developed an emotional attachment with their belongings: If you are looking to help an individual struggling with hoarding disorder, it is best if you turn to a mental health professional for a planned intervention


  • There is a positive outlook for hoarding: Fortunately, with the right treatment, there is a positive outlook for hoarding. Once they understand the reasons behind hoarding and have a better relationship with their possessions, you can offer to help them clean their environment.


Bio-One of Orange can help you


Cleaning and disinfecting a hoarded property may be challenging and overwhelming. Bio-One of Orange is always available to help. Our certified technicians have first-hand experience remediating hoarding situations with care, compassion, and discretion for victims and families. 


Bio-One of Orange is proud to serve Orange County, California, and surrounding communities:


Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster, and Yorba Linda! 


Give us a call - 714-397-8375. Bio-One is here to help.

Published by

Rafael Alemán. 

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