A recent study about hoarding, a first of its kind here, has found that one in 50 Singaporeans will display hoarding behaviour in their lifetime. In fact, stories about hoarding are not all that uncommon. Just last November, a man in his 50s was reported to have passed away in his home. When the Singapore Civil Defence Force arrived at his home in Toa Payoh, they discovered his body, alongside plenty of items that he had hoarded over the years, as well as the pests they attracted. When interviewed, his neighbours shared the inconveniences that they had to put up because of his hoarding behaviour. Despite these occasional stories, not many people know that hoarding can be a mental illness.
Hoarding disorder is the inability to discard with possessions because of a perceived need to save them, even if they are of no actual value. Hoarders experience distress when they have to part with their possessions. Hoarding behaviour can be linked to other mental conditions such as schizophrenia, but it can also be a disorder on its own. Because not many people see hoarding as a mental disorder, they will not seek treatment for their behaviour. This is where loved ones come into the picture, as they are able to help convince the hoarder to speak to a healthcare professional before the situation gets out of hand.
If you know of a loved one who is exhibiting hoarding behaviour and wish to help them seek treatment, speak to our friendly medical concierge today at +65 6679 7867. Alternatively you may wish to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.