Question: I have OCD symptoms primarily saving, collecting, and hoarding. From shopping near ruinous finances. Cluttered house with small pathways through rooms. 200mg Zoloft has helped with other symptoms such as carrying too much in multiple pockets and bags, but not with the acquisitiveness. Shopping seems to sublimate a desire for closeness with other people not present, while the result keeps people away as per the house. Any thoughts on other medications or approaches to breaking up the cycle of acquisition? Allan.
Answer 1: I don’t think the solution to hoarding and acquisition problems is found in medications although they may make treatment more workable. The answer that works is cognitive behavioral therapy. This will be likely to require a therapist who among other things will make visits to your home to help you get rid of things. Continued near the bottom of this page.
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Answer 2: Hopefully, you are getting your medication through a qualified psychiatrist, and if you tell them that the current approach is not working, they will be able to add a second medication to your Zoloft to make it work even better, or will switch you to another antidepressant. Above and beyond this, you should be getting cognitive/behavioral therapy. Behavioral therapy will help you to gradually clear out your house, stop acquiring things, and give you guidelines to keep things in order in the future. Cognitive therapy will help you to explore your thinking with regard to problems you may be having with establishing relationships with other people. It sounds like you need work in both areas. For some people, acquiring possessions can be a way of dealing with depression and loneliness, as well as being a form of OCD. A good therapist will help you explore all of this and help you to find some answers. Be sure to find experienced help. Be a wise consumer, and get referrals from those you trust who have had good therapy experiences. It may also be a good thing for you to find a local support group, if there is one in your area. It may help you in meeting other sympathetic people, and keep you from feeling as if you are alone with this. Best wishes!.
Answer 3: Hello. You need to work closely with a skilled behavior therapist to alter these maladaptive behavior patterns. It will be hard work, but worth the effort if you can make changes.