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How To Help Someone Struggling With Hoarding Tendencies

Updated: Jan 16

Recent years have brought to light the real issue of hoarding for many people. True hoarding isn’t some odd behavioral quirk; it’s a real problem that a lot of people struggle with. When you know someone with hoarding tendencies, it can be difficult to know how to reach out and make sure they are okay.

Many people with hoarding issues have a hard time giving it up, and they may need assistance from those around them. We’ll go over how to help someone struggling with hoarding tendencies so you can provide help in a careful and thoughtful way.

Recognize the Underlying Causes

Hoarding as a mental health issue is rarely, if ever, about the actual items being hoarded. If you want to help someone struggling with hoarding tendencies, you can’t just focus on the stuff in their homes. Your focus should be on helping them come to terms with the underlying issue. Sometimes, all someone needs is a person to talk to and work out why they feel the way they do. Determining what causes hoarding behavior is the first step towards recovery from it.

Don’t Force Them Too Quickly

The idea of “tough love” for someone struggling with a hoarding problem is not a good idea. The only thing you’ll accomplish by forcing them to throw things away, or worse, throwing things away without telling them, is causing them more mental anguish. As with many mental health issues, the person having the issue must want to change before any positive change can happen. Feel free to suggest a reexamination of their living situation, but know that forcing the issue won’t help anyone.

Offer Your Assistance Genuinely

What someone with a hoarding issue doesn’t need is someone who doesn’t actually want to help them. It’s important that when you offer help, you do so in a way that shows how genuine you are in your efforts to support them. Ask them how you provide the most assistance. Do they need someone there while they go through their possessions? Do they need someone to make the call to a removal service like the Purple Heart Pickup, so they don’t have to do it themselves? Make yourself available in whatever capacity they may need.

Encourage Them To Seek Professional Help

At the end of the day, people can’t overcome all mental health issues using the force of will alone. Perhaps the best thing you can do to support your friend or loved one is to encourage them to speak with a professional about their behavior and concerns. You may want to help in any way you can, but there is no substitute for qualified medical assistance from a professional when it comes to someone’s mental health.

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