Psychologists Speak Out About Illness of Hoarding - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Psychologists Speak Out About Illness of Hoarding

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 DOVER, Del.- A few items here and a few items there. Before you know it you're hoarding.

It may sound innocent enough, but psychologists say hoarding is a serious problem.

"To get rid of the items, newspapers, junk mail, if they throw it away it's like they're losing a piece of their identity," said Linda C. Goodnight, a psychologist at A Center for Wellness in Dover.

There she has seen her fair share of hoarders.

"They've gone through some type of trauma in their life sometimes," said Goodnight. "Sometimes it is depression. Sometimes it's ADHD. There are so many variables. Everyone is different on how they handle things."

Goodnight says hoarding can start as early as three-years-old and it normally peaks around 13-years-old. Holding onto items is their way of coping with deeper issues.

"They don't make decisions and they don't have to worry about the guilt," said Goodnight. "They just put it out of their mind and go onto something else."

She goes on to saying that tough love is not the answer when dealing with a hoarder.

"The person really needs therapy to be able to help them not be hoarders anymore," said Goodnight. "It's a long process. It's not something that can change overnight because they're holding onto those items as a sense of identity."

The more light is shed on the problem, the better chance hoarders have of getting the help they truly need.

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