Hoarding Disorder: What Are We Really Not Letting Go Of?

Are you having difficulty throwing away things even if they are already taking a toll on your day-to-day life and your relationships? If your answer is yes, then you might be suffering from a hoarding disorder. This condition is more than just “having too much clutter” or being a packrat. This could apply on an energetic level too, energy clutter from too having way too many social relationships or withholding too many responsibilities that don’t serve you, and keeping them for the sake of it.

Resolving a hoarding behaviour takes more than just getting rid of things because, more often than not, hoarders aren’t just anxious about letting go of inanimate objects, but what they really can’t let go of is the emotional attachment they have with these things regardless of their monetary value or usefulness. Many hoarders also suffer from other conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, depressions, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Hoarding: Signs & Symptoms

We all have a tendency to keep things we have no use of, thinking we might find them useful in the future. So how do you know if one has a hoarding disorder? Here are telling signs that you are suffering from this condition:

●     Having a persistent need to save items even those without any actual use or value.

●     Experiencing emotional pain or anxiety at having to discard items despite having no actual value or use.

●     Having a strong emotional attachment to possessions, or overestimating their value.

●     Worrying about running out of specific items, or thinking that even these junk items might be useful one day.

●     Accumulating items to the extent that living spaces become congested. If these areas are uncluttered, it’s due to third-party intervention.

Hoarding: An Emotional Problem

This pile of things may be junk for other people but for hoarders, these give them a sense of relief from the world and its dangers. For example, many hoarders are compulsive buyers. They shop and shop because it makes them feel good. But of course, the more they buy unnecessary things, the more they accumulate, and the more they isolate themselves from the world, even from their family and friends. Hoarding items relieves their anxiety but it also generates anxiety, especially when they are told to discard and clean out their possessions.

Hoarding has a lot to do with one’s emotional health. In fact, hoarding is related to varying anxiety levels and even depression. While the cause for hoarding disorder is not entirely clear, there are known risk factors, including experiencing stressful life events or a traumatic event, persistent indecisiveness, and family history.

Some hoarders develop the condition after going through a stressful life event that they had trouble coping with, for instance, a divorce, a death of a loved one, or eviction, to mention a few. There is also a strong link between having a family member who is a hoarder and being one yourself.

Hoarding is also a sign of insecurity. In fact, many hoarders are found to be socially withdrawn and start to hoard as a means of comfort. But this way of comfort leads to excessive accumulation of belongings, resulting in a cramped, unmanageable, and unhealthy living space.

Third-party intervention is often necessary to address a hoarding problem. Oftentimes, hoarders do not see that there is anything wrong with what they are doing. Or maybe they know that they have a problem but are unable to do anything since even the thought of parting with their belongings can cause them extreme anxiety.

Hoarding: Addressing the Problem

Hoarding affects not only your living space but also your personal relationships, well-being, health, and daily functioning at work. If you or someone you love has symptoms of hoarding disorder, it’s highly recommended to see a doctor or a therapist /mental health professional as soon as you can.


Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is the main treatment for hoarding disorder. The most common type of psychotherapy is cognitive-behavioural therapy.  The following are usually included in the therapy:

●     Learning to resist the urge to obtain more items

●     Learning to determine and challenge thoughts and beliefs associated with acquiring and keeping items

●     Improving decision-making and coping skills

●     Learning to organize and categorize belongings to help in deciding which ones to let go

●     Decluttering home during visits by a therapist or professional organizer.

●     Attending group therapy

●     Learning ways to increase social engagement and to enhance motivation for change

What I do love about psychotherapy is that with the support of the right therapist, clients are able to create a lot more awareness around their hoarding behaviour and can take mindful steps towards creating changes slowly.

Emotional Energy Healing

To provide a more holistic and effective treatment, psychotherapy can be paired with Emotional Energy Healing (which is one of the advance energy healing modalities I practice under my Intuitive Energy Healing services). This type of healing is complementary to other medical practices and therapies. As mentioned previously, a hoarding disorder is often developed after a stressful or traumatic life experience. This is why for you to completely address the problem, you need to resolve the underlying cause. Stressful and traumatic life experiences often cause negative emotions to get stored in our bodies. You need to unload these negative emotions, and one way to do that is through Emotional Energy Healing.

Emotional Energy Healing is a deep form of safe, natural energy release where negative emotions that are stuck inside your body are identified. These negative emotions have adverse effects on your physical, mental and emotional state.

What Emotional Energy Healing does is identify, locate and release those negative emotions that affect our behaviour so we are freed from it. It also helps in modifying our subconscious thought patterns in a way that we are less prone to react the same way if another similar situation arises.

Ultimately, Emotional Energy Healing is a wonderful and effective way to improve our well-being as a whole. It helps us unload the burdens of the past and move forward. This way, we no longer need to seek comfort in acquiring material things. It is much easier for us to let go of things that are no longer useful and valuable when we already feel good about ourselves.

If you are struggling with overcoming your hoarding behaviour, know that there is no shame in admitting it and seeking help. Be kind to yourself. Overcoming this condition is a process. Take it one step at a time. It might be overwhelming to think about what it takes to change this behaviour, but it’s going to be worth it.

Think about all the good things you can do when you start to change…You will be able to entertain family and friends in your home again. You will be able to preserve the relationship you have with the person you are living with. It also allows you to take control of your life again. You will no longer be held back by the pile of unnecessary belongings in your home.  You will improve your health and well-being. Ultimately, you will get more out of your life.