Wednesday 25 June 2008

Obsessive compulsive, moi?

This in NOT my closet. These last days I have been searching the net for articles and pictures on hoarding, to use on my final thesis for my architecture degree. Here's the 3-part definition of clinical hoarding from here :
  1. The acquisition of, and failure to discard, a large number of possessions that appear to be useless or of limited value (Frost and Gross, 1993).
  2. Living spaces are cluttered enough that they can't be used for the activities for which they were designed (Frost and Hartl, 1996).
  3. Significant distress or impairment in functioning caused by the hoarding.
Also from the same article, the three components of hoarding:
  1. Acquiring possessions compulsively - compulsive buying, or collecting free things.
  2. Saving all these possessions and never discarding.
  3. Not organizing and maintaining all the saved possessions.

A total of 1 to 2 percent of the general population are considered hoarders, though only 25 percent of hoarders have an obsessive compulsive disorder, says here. And some extracts from the aforementioned scientific article on hoarding as a psychological disorder:

Part of the problem for hoarders is that they find it hard to make decisions about what to do with their possessions. A hoarder may feel that something bad will happen if they discard an item or it may feel like a part of their identity will be lost. (...) To avoid these uncomfortable feelings, or distress, a hoarder is likely to choose the "safe" option - postponing the decision, or saving everything.
I think many of the fashion crowd have a tendency to hoard, including yours truly, though not in the level of a disorder. Hard for you to let go of old clothes? Never get around to throwing aw... errh, recycling your fashion magazines? Can't bear to bin those battered beyond repair and *smelly* shoes? HOARDER! Well, I'm not suggesting that your closet should always look like this: (NOT mine either)
That also has an obsessive compulsive feel, in an "American Psycho" control freak way. No, I'm suggesting some level of throwing away or recycling when possible and a lot more organizing. And even - please don't get upset - less shopping? Just a suggestion...


Anonymous said...

FAB! I am right there with you: hoarding tendencies, but not to the point of a disorder. And I purge all the flippin' time, too.

I'll also admit that the freakishly organized closet makes me salivate a little. Further proof of my non-disorder status ... right?

the upper vest side said...

My closet almost resembles the first photo! oh my! But is the problem my hoarding, or the size of my closet? :)

Dressed and Pressed said...

I'm a chronic hoarder and even when I do manage to get stuff in order and recycle stuff I just end up with more. Am I the only person who can sell stuff at a car boot sale and still end up buying more stuff to take home with me?

Ack! I'm doomed!!

Anonymous said...

People who have either condition typically overestimate the risk in a situation and underestimate their own resources for coping. Sufferers avoid what they fear instead of developing the skills to handle the kinds of situations that make them uncomfortable. Often enough, a lack of social skills is at the root. Some types of anxiety—obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia—are particularly associated with depression.