The terms hoarding and chronic organization sometimes are used interchangeably. This does not represent a proper use of either of these terms. They are not synonymous. In this article, you are presented with a discussion of hoarding versus chronic organization so that you will have a better understanding of what is meant by these two situations.
What Is Chronic Disorganization?
Chronic disorganization differs from hoarding. Chronic disorganization is applied to a situation in which an individual has made multiple attempts to bring a sense of order to their living space. Time and again, that person has not succeeded in truly organizing his or her living space.
Chronic disorganization can result in a cluttered residence. With that said, the cluttered residence of a person who is chronically disorganized is not the same as the home of a person with hoarding disorder. A closer exploration of the state of a residence of a hoarder follows in this article.
What Is Hoarding?
Hoarding can be divided into two categories:
- Hoarding behavior
- Hoarding disorder
Hoarding behavior does not rise to the level of the mental health condition which has been known as hoarding disorder since the early years of the 21st century. Hoarding behavior exists when an individual is amassing significant numbers of items. However, while an individual is inclined to keep these items, he or she is not compelled to do so in the same manner as a person with “full blown” hoarding disorder.
Hoarding disorder exists when an individual is virtually or actually unable to part with items that are accumulating in his or her home. Moreover, when hoarding reaches the level of a mental health condition, an individual with hoarding disorder will continue to collect items – even things that are completely worthless.
Common Causes of Chronic Disorganization
There are a variety of reasons why an individual may end up in a state of chronic disorganization. Some of the more commonplace underlying causes of chronic disorganization include:
- A notable number of people who are chronically disorganized suffer from attention deficit disorder or ADD. Simply, these are people who have a recognized mental health condition which results in them having a limited ability to concentrate. This lack of ability or wherewithal to concentrate on anything for any notable period of time makes it challenging for them to maintain a sense of order in their homes, offices, with their schedules, and so forth.
- Some people who are chronically disorganized have some type of physical condition that makes it difficult or impossible to maintain a sense of organization in their homes and elsewhere. They may have a physical disability of some sort that makes it challenging if not impossible to undertake tasks necessary to maintain organization.
- Yet another reason it sometimes operates as more of an excuse than an actual cause. With that said, there are instances when organizational chaos does arise from this scenario. Some individuals are unable to keep organized, become chronically disorganized, because they are so busy with “other things” that they cannot keep different aspects of their life ordered. For example, they have a disorganized home arguably because they are not there long enough to really delve into putting things into order.
Can Chronic Disorganization Lead to Hoarding?
A fair question is can chronic disorganization lead to hoarding behavior or even to hoarding disorder? The answer to this question is not a black and white yes or no. Rather, the best answer is that it is conceivable but certainly not the ultimate result of a disorganized life.
Yes, most people who end up exhibiting hoarding behavior or diagnosed with hoarding disorder likely have a track record of disorganization. But, not all disorganized individuals – even those who are chronically disorganized – will end up exhibiting hoarding behavior let alone being diagnosed with hoarding disorder.
In order to go from chronic disorganization to hoarding disorder, there likely will be another trigger point in that individual’s life. For example, a chronically disorganized person will end up having a spouse die unexpectedly. The trauma of the death, coupled with the predisposition for disorganization, may result in that person developing hoarding behavior or even ultimately hoarding disorder.
Professionals Who Assist With Chronic Disorganization and Hoarding
There are professionals who can assist a person who is chronically disorganized. First, there are professionals that work with people to become better organized and who can assist them in learning how to maintain organization going forward into the future. Moreover, in some cases a disorganized person might benefit from therapy or counseling.
Second, there are therapists and counselors who focus their professional efforts on working with people with hoarding behavior and who have been diagnosed with hoarding disorder. In addition, there are hoarder property cleanup professionals like Eco Bear that can remediate a hoarding situation in a person’s home. As an aside, if needed, Eco Bear is also able to cleanup a residence that has become particularly cluttered and unkept as a result of a more significant situation involving chronic disorganization.