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Mental Health Blog

Introduction to Mental Health


What is Hoarding? Hoarding is collecting things that you think you may need in the future or use, that make you feel good, or for security and many other reasons, it can be rubbish, food, crafts, compulsive shopping, animals, sentimental items and even bodily fluids like urine and faeces, if this is continues then the collecting can get out of control and can make your home become cluttered, and if continued can deteriorate further leading to possible Self-Neglect of the person involved. At long last Hoarding has now been recognised as a Mental Health diagnosis normally alongside the self-neglect.

Statisticians estimate Hoarding affects between 2% and 5% of all adults worldwide

Stage One:

There are already signs appearing. Collection has begun on a small scale, although the items are disorganised with little sign of pride. In the early stages the compulsive hoarder is not always obvious and may hide this from view, in cupboards, draws, perhaps in garages and lofts spaces.


It may be noted that the person seems to be out shopping a lot, some will find it very difficult to throw anything away. The household is neat and tidy. There are no concerns. The hoarder is managing day to day activities.


Stage Two:

The person becomes aware of their situation as their clutter spreads throughout their home. They will then avoid inviting people to their homes. The thought of others knowing seems to cause them anxiety, stress, even embarrassment.


The outward signs include blocked exits from the house, broken-down appliances, and failed heating systems. Regular housekeeping routines fade away. Mould and stale odours begin to appear. Intervention is becoming unavoidable!


Stage Three:

The National Study on Compulsive Disorganization proposes a degree of intervention at this point, before the situation deteriorates further. If the situation is made aware Adult social care may make a referral to the local mental health team for support, if their is not already involvement.


The most obvious signs of the stage three of hoarding may include among some or all of these:


A very poor level of personal hygiene, emotional distress.

Loss of control over weight (loosing or gaining), over defensive of their personal situation.

Further signs of neglect throughout their home.

Some signs of light structural damage, one bedroom cluttered beyond use.

Badly soiled floors, excessive pets, visible rodent, flea, and / or spider infestation.

Stage four:

Level four represents a stage where intervention is no wanted. Professionals describe this as a state in which the sewage system is no longer working as it should, and a stink of rotten food permeates the home. Where there are pets, their waste seems everywhere. The hoarder’s collection has taken over several rooms.


It comes to the point where if housed in social housing it can place your tenancy at risk, it also places a higher risk of fire for themselves and neighbouring homes.


Stage Five:

This phase represents the point of no return for the victim of the condition. They have hung in there during the first four stages of hoarding, but now they have run out of road. The place they called home has become uninhabitable. It is time to move the person out temporarily or permanently.


This however is not ideal as if moved out temporarily or permanently this does not get to the bottom of the problem and once they return to their home after it is cleared the viscous circle will start again.



One of the ways to move forward is to work with the person in a person-centred way, I have seen first-hand how completely clearing a home without working on the reasons could have a devastating effect and cause long lasting trauma on the mental health of the person involved.


There are services that are available and can be put in place by a social worker like the Kent Enablement Recovery Service which is a voluntary service funded by Kent County Council for upto 12 weeks, this service is invaluable which I am proud to say I am still working with at present. This being said I have seen first hand the difficulties of what can happen after the funded services have run out, trying to find a care package for help with hoarding is not something that is available at present as it is a specialised field where the person needs to go through each item and come to terms with their relationship with the item which is time consuming and exhausting to the person involved.


This is where Dee’s Positive Wellbeing Solutions can take the pressure off and can fill the void that there is within the system today and work with the person at their own pace without being pressured into something that clearly does not work and is traumatic to the person involved.

Clutter image rating, in general individuals who have a clutter rating of 4 or more and encouraged to get help.
Client 5

At Dee's Positive Wellbeing Solutions,  I accept private clients and also clients with direct payments through adult health and social care and am happy to work direct with adult social care teams.  I will go above and beyond to accommodate  the unique situation of every client. Call me and see what your options are today.

Client 6

Fully insured for peace of mind  through Mark Bates Ltd Premier House Londonthorpe Road Grantham Lincolnshire NG31 9SN Tel: 01476 514478 Fax: 01476 591543

Policy No: PA1027602

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