Health Hazards Associated with Hoarding. How fine a line is there between owning tonnes of stuff and becoming/being a hoarder? Owning a lot of stuff, really is a lot different to being a hoarder. As difficult as it is at times, to par down the amount of things that we own, knowing that you are able to get rid of the excess, without too much emotional discomfort, is really what sets the two apart.
Someone who is more of a pack rat, might want to hold onto excess stuff because of it holding sentimental value, or still being in very good condition. If the time came that you had to go through all your things, and declutter because you were moving to a smaller place. If someone you know was needing some things that you own extras of, if your comfortable parting with your stuff then, then that’s great. If your overstuffed drawers and shelves are just that, overfull, and not causing any unsanitary conditions, it’s fairly safe to say your not a hoarder. Excess stuff however, becomes difficult to keep clean, especially when it takes floor space. There are dangers and manyhealth hazards associated with hoarding.
If your reading this post because you own too much stuff and know it’s time to ship some out, check out the following articles.
Resources for Pack Rats needing to clear the clutter
Are You a Hoarder?
Is someone who is more inclined to not want to part with any of their possessions, more likely to become a hoarder, than someone who passes on things that they no longer need use or love?
Yes, if it’s a problem for you letting go of any of your stuff, no matter what, it’s time to talk to a professional.
If you say yes to any of the following questions, go and see your family GP or Doctor, for a referral. They are the trained professionals. Although you can read and get information on websites and blogs on this topic, you need to talk to someone in person, who can assess your own individual circumstances, and direct you to the exact help that you need.
(Disclaimer: please note, we are not trained professionals at routinehabit.com in the disorder of hoarding, and only offer advice based on research or personal experience. Always see a trained professional, and we cannot be held liable for any information, gathered here on this site.)
Do You Know Someone or are You Suffering With Any of These?
When people comment on you owning too much stuff, do they call you a hoarder? Are you finding that you are bringing more and more stuff into your life, so much so that your stuff is beginning to leave you little room to live in your home? Do you avoid having people over to your home, in fear of what they might say about the amount of things that you own? Are friends and family commenting on the amount of stuff that you have? Do you keep things that other people consider to be rubbish?
If you feel any of these things relate to you, please go and speak to your doctor. You may need help to get your head around the fact that you don’t need all this excess stuff in your life. You may need help getting rid of all your excess stuff. Keeping all your stuff, could be making you very sick not to mention uncomfortable.
Now I’d like to introduce you all to Dixie Somers. Dixie works as a writer for extraspace storage facilities, a storage unit company that has 900 outlets around the US. She has lots of experience in health hazzards associated with hoarding.
Thanks and take it away Dixie,
Clear the Clutter: Top 5 Health Hazards Associated with Hoarding
Compulsive hoarding is a serious psychological condition that affects people all around the world. Hoarding causes many emotional and psychological problems. It’s important to get a hold of a hoarding problem before it causes any health problems for you or your family. Below are the five most common health hazards for people living in a hoarder’s environment.
1. Mold Spores and Fungus
Warm weather creates optimal conditions for plants and other vegetation to grow. This includes mold and fungus. Porous surfaces from piles of books or clothes will collect spores over times if left undisturbed. Mold and fungus can then grow throughout the home. Mold and fungus spores create respiratory problems and can exacerbate existing medical conditions. They can even cause systemic infections in the body that result in heart disease or kidney failure.
2. Viruses and Pathogens from Pests
Large piles of undisturbed clutter contain small pathways and pockets that can be used as a home by pests like mice, roaches and even ticks or fleas. These pests all carry different diseases. Droppings from mice can spread forms of the Hantavirus. Roaches and other insects can make food unsafe to eat and leave communicable diseases on surfaces in the home. A person living in these conditions is likely to contract a virus or pathogen over time that could cause extreme skin irritation or permanent damage to internal organs.
Hoarding often makes every room in the home unusable. This includes the bathroom. Hoarders can create dangerous and unsanitary conditions by allowing urine and feces to collect in a home even if it is in a container. A dangerous hazard from this besides disease is ammonia. Feces and urine release ammonia into the air that can quickly reach unsafe levels. Ammonia is corrosive and can cause serious chemical burns to the eyes, lungs and throat. This could result in lung damage and blindness.
4. Physical Injuries
Many serious health risks are related to the physical presence of the clutter. There is a very high chance a person will trip and could suffer a broken limb or a large wound. The piles of items could trigger a fire near an outlet or appliance that is not properly maintained. The clutter could prevent a person from escaping the fire in time. The risk of physical injuries, is one reason why friends and family often try to move the clutter to a storage facility. Self storage units are becoming more and more popular throughout the world and one like Sacramento CA self storage units, are a better alternative than allowing stuff to accumulate in the house.
Unsanitary conditions inside of a home that result from hoarding will release a large amount of organic particles into the air. These particles help to carry and transmit diseases, viruses and bacteria. The particles will eventually come to rest on almost all items and surfaces in the house. This dramatically increases the chance of different infections such as streptococcus and Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). These infections can make it into the tissue of the lungs, nose or throat. They can also turn minor abrasions or cuts into life-threatening conditions that require extensive medical treatment in order to avoid death.
Compulsive hoarding is a chronic problem that will affect every aspect of life if left untreated. Health problems from hoarding can permanently damage the body. Very cluttered homes will constantly compound minor medical issues. It is important to seek help for hoarding since some health problems such as a serious infection could occur very suddenly.
Questions on Health hazards associated with hoarding
If you have any questions on the health hazards associated with hoarding, feel free to ask them in the comments below. Dixie will be happy to answer those for you.
This article was written by Dixie Somers. Dixie works for extraspace storage facilities, who have storage units in 900 locations throughout the US including North Carolina and Greensboro.
Facebook: Weight loss challenge
Have you heard about our weight loss challenge yet? I have 25kg to lose, and I’m starting a new eating plan, in order to lose that weight by the first week of December 2013. All the details will be on the blog tomorrow, and on our Facebook page. If you have some weight to lose too, and want friends to help hold you accountable, we would love to have you join us. Make sure to call back tomorrow for all the info.
Even if you don’t need to lose any weight, a healthy eating routine, could have you feeling 100?s of times better. Make certain to keep an eye out for what we’re doing, or come and join us.
Just Come over to our RoutineHabit, Facebook Page, and say hi, and let us know you will be doing the challenge or following our progress, just to see if we make it or fail.
Anyway guys, time for me to close.
PS Remember to look after one another.