While some people believe it is not, hoarding is a mental disorder that is difficult to treat and is often judged as a personal problem rather than a mental disorder. The new appearance of television shows that are specific to this mental disorder, place this disease in the spotlight. Compulsive hoarding has become something that is looked down upon and that the person whom it is affecting is just messy and disgusting. Everyone has stuff, even if it's a kitchen drawer filled with old thumbtacks, a spool of thread or old birthday cards tucked aside somewhere. We are genetically programmed to collect, accumulate, and save a variety of things. Our forbearers saved anything that could be materially useful. So, to want more and to keep it is fundamentally human-a common, usually normal, and natural behavior.
Compulsive hoarding is the excessive acquisition of possessions and the failure to use or discard them. "People who hoard typically cannot stop acquiring things (Hartl 2009). Many individuals who hoard do not get rid of things because they want to avoid making a decision about whether to keep it or throw it away. Another central component to compulsive hoarding is cluttered living spaces. Someone who hoards often feels embarrassed; avoid inviting others into the home; can't find things; and often argues with spouses, family members or both about their hoarding problem. Hoarding is a disease that affects more than just the person suffering from the disorder but the lives surrounding that person as well.
"Psychologists estimate that four million Americans do not ever throw anything away. During the last thirty years the size of the average American home has grown 53 percent, from 1,500 square feet .
teenage years, although the average age of a person seeking treatment for hoarding is about 50. Hoarders often endure a lifelong struggle with hoarding. They tend to live alone and may have a family member with the problem.