Question: How do I know if my hoarding is OCD or just embarrassing? Or am I lazy because I can’t put things away (out of sight), even insignificant trash and junk mail?
Answer 1: “Laziness” is an unlikely and generally nonuseful explanation for hoarding behavior. I assume that there are some things that you do accomplish and that you do not just stare at the wall all day. Why would you be lazy only regarding some tasks and not others? OCD or some other related problem is a more likely explanation. The fact that you do something that makes you unhappy in other ways (e.g., causes embarrassment) is simply another indication that you have a problem. I hope you will seek an evaluation from a clinician experienced with OCD who may then be able to give you a more definitive answer regarding the nature of your problem. Continued near the bottom of this page.
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Answer 2: Sounds like hoarding. This behavior is usually motivated by feeling “I might need it sometime,” “I may make a mistake if I throw away the wrong thing,” or sentimental attachment to items. It is not laziness. See recent posting about treatment.
Answer 3: Hoarding can be a serious problem – people have created fire hazards, ruined nice homes, and even been evicted because of it. I suggest that you get a professional consultation with someone who is expert in treating OCD, to find out just how serious your problem is. You might even bring along some photos to show whoever it is you go to see. One way to tell if it may be OCD is the level of dysfunction is causing you (how much it is messing up your life), if you just cannot ever decide what things to throw away, and if you get extremely anxious about throwing things out. If it is OCD, then behavioral therapy (Exposure and Response Prevention) and possibly medication (SSRI-type antidepressants) are the best treatments. You can get a lot of help and instructions about how to decide what to throw away, how to reorganize your home, and get help in actually throwing things away. Go get help soon. You don’t have to live this way. Best regards.
Answer 4: Hoarding is actually probably a common problem and most people who have the problem probably have OCD. I don’t think what you describe is just being lazy. The only way to know for sure is to get an evaluation from a professional who knows about OCD. The treatment of hoarding problems is something many professionals don’t know about and is likely to require a therapist who is willing to come to your home.
Answer 5: I suppose to make the diagnosis, one would need to know why you cannot get rid of trash and junk mail. If you are saving them because you feel they have some future value and it is filling up your house, then you may have hoarding.
Answer 6: Usually people who are lazy are not disturbed by their habits. The fact that you are worried about it suggests that you may have OCD or hoarding. I would suggest that you consult a mental health professional for further evaluation and treatment.
Answer 7: Hoarding is actually probably a common problem and most people who have the problem probably have OCD. I don’t think what you describe is just being lazy. The only way to know for sure is to get an evaluation from a professional who knows about OCD. The treatment of hoarding problems is something many professionals don’t know about and is likely to require a therapist who is willing to come to your home. The OCF has a list of therapists who treat OCD and that might be the best place to start getting help.