Hoarders May Now Get the Help They Need

PawsUpPaws Up!
To the American Psychiatric Association for classifying hoarding as an official mental disorder.

According to a news article, “In the revised, fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), ‘hoarding disorder’ becomes a separate diagnosis, characterized by a ‘persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value.’

Tabitha was rescued by NHES from a hoarding situation and is now waiting for her forever home.

Tabitha was rescued by NHES from a hoarding situation and is now waiting for her forever home.

Hoarding isn’t just a messy garage or packed closet. According to the APA, it’s defined by its harmful effects — emotional, physical, social, financial and even legal — both on the hoarder and the hoarder’s family members.”

Hoarders come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life, young and old, male and female. They hoard anything from old newspapers to salt shakers. In addition, many hoarders “collect” animals. It’s estimated that a quarter million animals fall victim to hoarders every year. Animals collected range from cats and dogs to reptiles, rodents, birds, exotics, and even farm animals. Without some type of psychological intervention, most animal hoarders return to their hoarding ways.

The article continues: “’The revised diagnosis should ‘result in more people having access to treatment,’ says Randy Frost, a professor of psychology at Smith College who specializes in hoarding issues. ‘Right now, there are very few clinicians who know how to treat it. Once it shows up in DSM, there will be much more pressure on clinicians to train in how to treat this problem.’”

Take Action: If you suspect someone of being an animal hoarder, make sure you approach the appropriate resources in your community so that you can seek help for the individual as well as help for the animals in his or her care.

Dilip Jeste, M.D
American Psychiatric Association
1000 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1825
Arlington, VA 22209
Tele. No.: 1-888-35-77924
Email: apa@psych.org

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