Telltale signs of ADHD like indecision, distractibility, and impulsivity may easily give rise to a disorganized home or office. To an untrained eye, ADHD clutter may resemble a hoarding disorder. Differentiating these two related but distinct conditions requires a clear understanding of what hoarding disorder is — and what it is not.Hoarding is an accepted psychiatric diagnosis that develops from vulnerabilities, information processing problems, and beliefs about and attachments to possessions.The American Psychiatric Association first classified hoarding disorder as a subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
However, research has revealed that people with hoarding disorder don’t necessarily exhibit classic OCD symptoms. 1“Early on in the diagnostic manual, the inability to throw away worthless or worn-out items was diagnostic criteria for obsessive-compulsive personality disorder,” says Randy O. Frost, Ph.D., the Harold Edward and Elsa Siipola Israel Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.
“We’ve learned in the research over the last 20 years that this does not characterize hoarding disorder. People with hoarding disorder save things that others may consider worthless. But they also save everything else that comes into their possession.
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