Sample Psychology Paper on Hoarding Disorder and its Influence in the Behaviour of Individuals

Hoarding Disorder and its Influence in the Behaviour of Individuals


            Hoarding is a disorder that is characterized by individuals holding or saving items, possessions, and property that may be worthless, such as newspapers, magazines, clothes, shoes, and articles. The people affected with the hoarding disorder find it difficult to dispose, get rid or part with the possessions that they may see as valuable to them (Metcalf, 2015). As a result, there is congestion and strain in their living or working space, which results in the interruption of their day-to-day operations and movements. There is a perception that the hoarding of items or possessions is same as collecting. However, this is not the case since collectors are professionals that look for specific items of value, such as art works, vintage cars, and stamps (Frost, 2015).

In contrast, people who been diagnosed with the hoarding disorder often save their possessions in a random manner and are dangerously stored. Most of the times people normally save or store valuable items or possessions that have a sentimental value in their lives, and those they may require or need in future to perform their activities and functions. There is also security by being surrounded by the items they have saved or stored. In the general population, the hoarding disorder has been diagnosed in an approximately two to five per cent of the entire global population. Hoarding leads to enormous levels of distress and may predispose disability (Metcalf, 2015).

Hoarding has several consequences on the functioning of human beings along the parameters of social and occupation, which can be impaired by hoarding disorder. Health and safety concerns arise since storing items haphazardly may lead to the occurrences of fire incidences, tripping of electric lines, and violations in the code of health (Metcalf, 2015). Hoarding disorder leads to conflicts and strain within the family. It may also lead to an individual isolating him/herself. There is unwillingness to welcome visitors to one’s residence. An individual may also be incapacitated from performing the daily chores or tasks in his or her home, such as cooking, cleaning, and bathing activities. Hoarding can be diagnosed by medical health practitioners (APA, 2015).

The causes of hoarding have been identified as injury of the brain and are inherited genetically along family lines (Metcalf, 2015). The treatment administered to patients diagnosed with the hoarding disorder includes medications and cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). This paper will discuss the hoarding disorder and how influences the behaviour of affected people. To achieve this, the paper will critically assess and examine the peer reviewed article, “Hoarding’s place in the DSM-5: another symptom, or a newly listed disorder?” that was authored by ShoshanaMarchand and Geoffry Phillips McEnany.


Article Summary

            This paper seeks to understand the placement of the hoarding disorder in the DSM-5 group. It aims at creating the clinical practitioners with the best insights that will familiarize them with the best practices in the emergent field of diagnosing and treating patients with hoarding behaviours. In the contemporary society, the relatively emergent and nascent field of hoarding disorders has attracted both professional and public attention in a significant manner. The media has played a crucial role in disseminating the information that has created awareness in the public arena. Global consumerism, particularly in the US has a primary role in shaping the behaviour of people in collecting valuable items or possessions (Marchand & Phillips McEnany, 2012).

Due to high incomes in the US, the citizens normally enjoy a high portion of their income that is disposable hence can be spent purchasing goods and services. Compulsive or impulsive buying behaviour is affected by the addiction of individuals to shopping. The research factored in the age, gender, and the nature of objects collected. The conceptualization of the research was modelled on animals, primates, and human beings. The age dimension was found to be a common occurrence particularly among children (Marchand & Phillips McEnany, 2012). Children normally hoard the following types of items: toys, pencils, old school papers, books, food, and discarded food wrappers. In the elderly population, hoarding was particularly found to have potential health risks. Hoarding was found to have significant stress on the hoarders particularly in times of economic hardships (Hollander, Poskar & Gerrard, 2012).

The potential drawbacks to hoarding among the elderly population were that it led to self-neglect, poor health and hygiene, and potential environmental hazards. Hoarders tend to live in isolation, that is, they withdraw themselves from social lives. Hoarding leads to inadequate storage space and there is no access to clean food. There is a high level of impairment in those individuals diagnosed with the hoarding disorder or behaviour. Women were found to be at a high chance of being hoarders compared to men (Marchand & Phillips McEnany, 2012).

Article Critique

            The primary advantage of this paper is that it captures the various groups along the social structure. They are divided along age, gender, severity of the hoarding disorder, and types of objects commonly collected. This paper has no visible weaknesses or disadvantages as the researcher has vividly classified his research.


            The mental health disorder known as hoarding disorder is still a relatively new occurrence in the public health arena. There is still ample room for further research in order to publish reliable papers that can be used in the medical field. However, there are many people in the world living with these disorder and they have not been diagnosed. They include rich entrepreneurs and celebrities who have a penchant for collecting luxury items, such as cars and clothes to art and other forms of collectibles.


American Psychiatric Association (APA) (2015).Hoarding Disorder. Retrieved from

Frost, R. (2015). International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) – Hoarding Centre.Retrieved


Hollander, E., Poskar, S., & Gerard, A. (2012). THE OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE

SPECTRUM.Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Current Science and Clinical Practice, 1904.

Marchand, S., & Phillips McEnany, G. (2012). Hoarding’s place in the DSM-5: another

Symptom or a newly listed disorder? Issues in mental health nursing, 33(9), 591-597.

Metcalf, E. (2015). Hoarding is a common problem that is difficult to treat. Retrieved on 6th

June 2015 from