Hoarding disorder, also known as compulsive hoarding, is characterized by an excessive collecting or saving of items that leads - in contrast to "ordinary collecting" - to an increasing level of disarray in the living and/or work spaces of those affected, to an increasing level of dysfunction in social and/or occupational areas, and to an increasing disability.
Having to discard some or all of the hoarded items leads in those affected to a high level of discomfort. Even the thought of parting with some of these objects leads in persons with hoarding disorder to an aversive emotional response, e.g. dysphoric mood, anxiety, or irritability.
Most of the hoarded items might be viewed as worthless by other persons, but the persons affected by hoarding disorder experience an overwhelming need to keep those items - either because they might need them in the future and/or might feel uncomfortable or insecure without those items.
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