Hoarding disorder, or HD, has become a huge problem in modern society. However, it has not become a problem only for the person having it, it is also a big problem for the entire family and people that live with the person having HD. It does not only have its disadvantages in terms of the lack of physical and personal space, but it also brings emotional problems and frustrations.
Consequences of HD
It is known that each family shares certain living space and that they arrange it to the mutual needs. Well, the problem first arises if there is a family member with HD since the mutual living space becomes limited and simply unusable. This is most evident when hoarding starts to take place that is used by all family members, for example, kitchens, hallways, living room etc. Another important thing that should be mentioned here is the money factor. Namely, money may become an issue since hoarders simply need money to acquire new things which may limit the available money for some other things in the family.
Furthermore, hoarders sometimes need lockers, drawers or something similar to put all those things, and this also leads to spending money on such stuff and not directing it on some other side or to family needs. However, one of the biggest problems may arise when the person with HD states that a part of the mutual home is his/her own and that there he/she only arranges the things. This leads in the alienation of people since they are no longer a group and they have an alienated individual. The biggest problem happens when some other people in the family simply try to clean their home and get into a conflict with a hoarder. This can lead to unwanted and unneeded stressful situations.
The most affected members of a family are the children of the people who have HD. Why? First of all, those children, especially if they are still in school, are simply deprived of the living space and are doomed to live in the crowded home where their moving is limited as well as their freedom and social interactions. This ultimately leads to children being ashamed of who they are, of having friends over and they thus became alienated and cast outs since they are embarrassed by this.
Secondly, all this may lead children to become depressed which can then lead to anger which can culminate in family quarrels or even bad behaviors at school and out of the house. Then, depression can simply have multiple bad effects on children. The problem can then evolve in neighbors reporting the ill-treatment of such children by their parent to authorities. The biggest problem may arise when children leave such homes and become alienated from their parents, it also happens that such children refuse to come home and visit and see their parents.
It happens that people living with a person with HD need years to take some action, either in terms of an intervention or in terms of actually getting a divorce. There are rare cases when both spouses are hoarders, and this ultimately leads to even bigger problems.
Health and safety are one of the most important things in terms of the hygiene of a family. Hoarding can seriously deteriorate this since too many things piled up can prevent the house from cleaning which can result in the occurrence of bacteria and germs. This ultimately can result in serious health problems and disorders of people living in such homes. It should be mentioned that too many things in the house can mean that someone can slip or trip or fall more easily, which can also lead to the road to a doctor and hospital.
The chance of fire spreading here is bigger since some of the hoarded things may be flammable, and even when firefighters arrive, they may have problems to even enter and help people inside the house. Finally, the mere floors of the upper parts of houses may get loose since there are too many things, and the boards may start to rot, which would jeopardize the stability of the entire object and its inhabitants.