> Hoarding and Cluttering
The North Shore Center for Hoarding and Cluttering offers safe and non-judgmental support for individuals and families struggling with clutter. We understand that there are different degrees of clutter. From struggles with chronic disorganization and excessive clutter to struggles with hoarding behavior and Hoarding Disorder (and any level of clutter in between), we are here to help.
We all have possessions that we are attached to and keep for sentimental reasons, their potential use, or their intrinsic value. Many of us also have at least one ‘junk drawer’ full of items that we never quite know what to do with but are not comfortable getting rid of. It is when the accumulation of possessions begins to affect daily activities and quality of life that there is cause for concern. If the accumulation of possessions results in safety issues, the inability to function in the home, and causes significant distress, it is likely that someone is struggling with issues related to hoarding behavior.
What is Hoarding?
It is very important to understand that hoarding is NOT about the STUFF. The STUFF is a result of a multitude of underlying issues. These issues must be addressed in order for someone to learn the skills and strategies necessary to manage the behavior and maintain change.
Hoarding is a progressive and chronic condition. According to the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF), hoarding is a complex disorder that is made up of three connected problems:
1) Collecting too many items
2) Difficulty getting rid of items
3) Problems with organization
In 2014, hoarding was recognized as its own distinct disorder and called Hoarding Disorder. (IOCDF) Individuals struggling with Hoarding Disorder often also struggle with other mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, and OCD. Additionally, research has shown that those struggling with Hoarding Disorder have cognitive processing issues that affect decision making and problem solving.
Who Suffers from Hoarding?
Hoarding can affect people of all ages and it’s severity is not always linked to a specific age group. The perception that hoarding is more prevalent in the elderly population is a combination of the amount of time the behavior has gone untreated and increased reporting due to increased interactions with service providers as health and safety needs change with age.
How Can the North Shore Center for Hoarding & Cluttering Help?
Hoarding Disorder is often misunderstood and stigmatized. Embarrassment, shame, and the fear of being judged often keep those struggling with hoarding from reaching out for help.
At the North Shore Center for Hoarding and Cluttering, we provide a safe, supportive, and educational environment for individuals, their families, and their support systems who may be struggling with issues of hoarding or excessive clutter.
There are no age or geographic limitations for assistance or participation in our program. Our program offers the following services:
- Weekly support groups that focus on identifying underlying issues and developing effective skills and strategies to manage behavior and achieve and maintain progress.
- Support groups twice a year for family members or those who identify themselves as a caregiver to the person with the hoarding problem.
- Individual and Family Counseling for those affected by issues of hoarding or excessive clutter.
- Crisis Case Management based on a client-centered multi-disciplinary team approach.
- Education and training on all aspects of Hoarding Disorder as it pertains to individuals and the community.
For more information contact Eileen Dacey, LCSW at 978-624-2207 or EDacey@nselder.org.