Hoarding has been classified as a recognized mental health condition for about 20 years. As a consequence, there are now mental healthcare professionals who specialize in working with people diagnosed with what technically is now known as hoarding disorder.
As an outgrowth of hoarding being recognized as a mental health condition, a variety of different types of support groups have developed for family members and other loved ones of a person afflicted with hoarding disorder. These different types of support groups are presented here for your consideration.
Local Family of Hoarders Support Groups
In many locations across the United States there now exist support groups designed specifically for families of individuals with hoarding disorder. These groups tend to be more generalized in the sense that they are open to any type of family member of a person with hoarding disorder. Indeed, in some instances these groups open their doors to people who are not family members but rather are friends or colleagues of some type.
The type of more general family of hoarders support groups oftentimes are overseen to some degree by a counselor or therapist who works with people afflicted with hoarding disorder. In other instances, this type of support group is a voluntary coming together of people in a similar situation. There is no counselor or therapist typically associated with the process.
Religious Family of Hoarders Support Groups
In more recent years, there has been an uptick in the number of family of hoarder support groups sponsored or supported by religious organizations. Some of these are more organized endeavors. On the other hand, some of these hoarder support groups are more of an ad hoc venture. In other words, a cohort of people with hoarding family members come together and form a support group within a church, synagogue, or other venue of a religious or spiritual nature.
Teen Children of Hoarders Support Groups
Teen children of hoarders have particularly unique needs. The stark reality is that a teen child of a hoarder oftentimes resides in the residence of the individual with hoarding disorder. Such a situation can upend the life of a teenager in ways that are even quite hard to imagine.
Many of these young people do benefit from obtaining individual counseling or therapy. However, research demonstrates that a group setting for teenage children of hoarders can particularly be helpful for these young people. Participation in such groups underscores the fact that these teens simply are not alone when it comes to living in a world that includes a parent or parents with hoarding disorder.
Adult Children of Hoarders Support Groups
Adult children of hoarders oftentimes are the individuals who first discover that their mother or father are afflicted with hoarding disorder. Moreover, it oftentimes falls upon the adult children of a hoarder to lead the way in seeking support and assistance for a parent with hoarding disorder. The net effect of what an adult child of a hoarding parent faces can be significant and highly challenging.
An adult child of a person with hoarding disorder is apt to experience any one or more of a number of different emotional and mental health issues that include:
In this day and age, a notable number of adult children do seek out therapy or counseling to assist themselves through the process of dealing with a hoarding parent. Adult children of hoarders also appear to obtain a significant benefit by becoming involved in a support group specifically designed for people in their shoes. Support groups for adult children of hoarders are found across the United States at this juncture in time.
Family of Hoarder Support Groups Attached to a Clinical Practice
More than a few mental health professionals have come to appreciate the benefits of therapeutic family of hoarder support groups. As a result, these counselors or therapists have established such therapeutic groups as an extension of their own practices.
A good number of people with hoarding family members do seek out individual counseling or therapy for themselves. In some instances, the counselors or therapists seen by these individuals do make a recommendation for associated group therapy as well.
As an added bonus, membership or participation in one or another of these support groups is more than just a means to garner emotional support and to learn more about hoarding disorder. In some instances, these groups are able to provide you with information about helpful resources.
For example, these groups may be able to provide you contact information to a hoarder property cleanup service like Eco Bear. A cleanup service like Eco Bear permits you the ability to retain the services if a professional to take on cleaning up the site of a hoard. A company like Eco Bear has the experience necessary to restore fully your family member’s home to a safe, healthy, and livable condition.