Extreme hoarding behavior (when people obsessively accumulate things) has often been thought of as a sub-set of symptoms for obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, there has been increased discussion about hoarding being a mental disorder all its own. The Boston Globe recently had the best mainstream press article on the topic that I have ever read, touching the roots of the problem, associated personality traits, and current treatment.

People who hoard are often misunderstood, said Jason Elias, a behavior therapist at McLean Hospital’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorders Institute. “The general public thinks these people are just slobs or lazy, but actually most of the time it’s because . . . of not wanting to waste things, and so wanting to make the right decision about a thing that it becomes overwhelming and they keep it.”

If you have any interest in this topic or are someone who may struggle with some form of hoarding, the article is a must read.