Compulsive Hoarding

Journal: Die Psychiatrie - Grundlagen und Perspektiven
ISSN: 1614-4864

WPA XVII World Congress of Psychiatry

Issue: 2017 (Vol. 14): Issue 4 2017
Pages: 245-249

Compulsive Hoarding

A. Barocka (1)

(1) Klinik Hohe Mark, Deutscher Gemeinschafts-Diakonieverband GmbH, Oberursel


Classification, therapy, Hoarding


Compulsive Hoarding (DSM-5 300.3) seems a frequent disorder with a reported point prevalence of about 2%. Psychiatrists and psychotherapists, however, are not keen to deal with it. Appropriate treatment is difficult to get for several reasons: The nature of the disorder is still unclear, in particular whether it is a subtype of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It is well established that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder shows poor results in hoarders. Comorbidity may occur with Attention Deficit Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Social Phobia or Depression. Some patients identify with their symptoms. Therefore, treating hoarders is a difficult task. While experts are reluctant, popular books, television, and self-help groups appear highly interested. In German popular culture Compulsive Hoarding has been labeled “Messie Syndrome” which is clearly derogatory. This article pleads for those therapies that were found effective in clinical studies. Such therapies, specifically targeting Compulsive Hoarding, do not guarantee full remission but may achieve symptom reduction in many cases and recovery of function in some.

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