Collecting things here and there never really seems to be a problem. But if your collecting turns into hoarding, there can be some negative effects on you and your life. So, what are the dangers of hoarding?
There are physical and mental dangers associated with hoarding, impacting the state of a household and a person. These dangers include increased fire hazards, mould growth, and bug infestation. It can also be a sign of depression and anxiety in a person, hoarding becoming a coping mechanism for them.
Read on to learn more about the negative side of hoarding
The dangers of hoarding
The dangers of hoarding place a huge strain on the mental and physical health of persons with a disorder and their loved ones. This is normally diagnosed by a doctor, but the early signs and symptoms should not be ignored.
If you hoard things, you may feel the need to collect more regardless of the existing things stockpiled. Sure, getting out to find more pieces may give you a positive feeling. But it also creates a number of hazards.
Animals and insects hiding in the hoarding mess
Hoarding clutters up your household, making it very difficult to clean your house properly. This causes hazards such as insects and animals creating a home amongst the clutter. These bugs can make their way through your belongings to your clothes and bed, resulting in bites on you and your family. Any animals that find a way to hide amongst your hoarding clutter can bring a range of diseases into the home. Without the ability to properly locate these bugs and animals, you can’t properly get rid of them or clean your house. This allows mould and bacteria to grow that have been brought in by the animals. The bugs can also eat away at parts of your house.
So, not only do the animals pose a health risk to you and your family, but they can also slowly destroy your house structure. Without being able to conduct deep cleans in a hoarder’s house, there is no telling how many bugs and animals will infiltrate the mess.
Dirt, bacteria and mould pose a danger to hoarder’s health
When you fill your house full of hoarded items, it is easy for mould to grow without you knowing. Mould spores are harmful to both sensitive and non-allergic people. They can cause breathing issues for anyone who lives in a house with a hoarder. This is very dangerous for your health, especially if you live with the mould for an extended amount of time. The dirt and mould build-up can have lots of impact on your health, while also turning your house from messy to a dirty house.
Hoarding dangers that occur from having little space to move
There is an increased danger to your physical health from hoarding because there is not enough space to move. Often hoarders pile items up very high throughout the house. These piles can take up rooms and also end up lining hallways. This reduces the amount of space you have to move through the house and increases the risk of tripping on something. These piles can fall at any time because there isn’t a way to ensure that they are safe. The items from the piles can land on you and cause physical injury.
The other hoarding danger is that the clutter can end up blocking air vents and other airways throughout the house. This increases the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which reduces the fresh air for you to breathe in.
Hoarding increases the fire hazards in your home
The more items you have, the more things there are that can catch fire. If any fire happens to catch in the house of a hoarder, it won’t take long for it to spread. This is a huge danger associated with hoarding. Because of the amount of clutter, fire can spread throughout the whole house very quickly. It can be harder to isolate the fire and have a chance of saving part of the house. It can also leave you little time to escape if a fire does happen. This puts your entire house and yourself in huge danger if you continue to hoard your items.
Why is hoarding unhealthy?
Hoarding is quite unhealthy for not only your physical health but also your psychological and social health. A hoarder oftentimes is oblivious to the damage that hoarding causes to their mental health and others. It harms the respiratory system, overburdens the mind, and induces stress and anxiety while depleting energy levels. It causes family conflicts and financial hardships leading to depression and social isolation. Seeking help from a professional is best.
A professional can help you develop the mental coping mechanisms to start letting items go. This might mean starting by not adding to the hoarded piles. Then it leads to the beginning stages of giving away your unnecessary items until you start to declutter the house!
Can a hoarding house make you sick?
Living in a house full of hoarded items has the potential to make you sick. Stockpiling items may seem like a normal thing to do but it compromises your living condition. It leads to poor sanitary conditions which can be harmful to you. Not being able to access the bathroom for hygiene care or the kitchen to get a proper meal compromises your immune system. Decomposing rodents and food emit hazardous by-products that could make you sick and provide the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and disease.
Hoarders’ homes have a lot of dust, and the scents and ammonia from decaying products produce major indoor air quality problems. This can lead to persistent coughing, shortness of breath, lung inflammation, and other respiratory disorders. It’s important to take action from an early stage as recognizing difficulty breathing, in the long run, may be too late.
What diseases can you get from hoarding?
Infestations of bugs can be quite harmful to your health spreading diseases like the West Nile virus from mosquitos. The chances of getting ill with this virus are very small as only 1% of people bitten become severely ill. Lyme disease can also be caused by stockpiles hiding ticks. The disease is transferred to humans via the black-legged ticks. Hoarding can also develop bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella.
Can hoarders be dangerous?
While hoarding disorder does lead to serious clutter, hoarders aren’t particularly dangerous. However, these individuals do not appreciate being forced to change. If they constantly face pressure to throw out their stuff, they can become very angry and take violent action.
Why do hoarders get angry?
Hoarders get quite angry when others try to convince them that their living condition needs to change. They often resort to explaining that each collected piece makes them feel safer or reminds them of good times. Touching any item will also lead them to be overly protective. Hoarders don’t like having their things touched without permission and as such may throw out persons try to help from their homes.
This is because they truly feel attached to all their hoarded items. This can be a sense of security that relates to previous trauma. Usually, a hoarder has developed this habit because of a traumatic event that caused them to become attached to physical items. This can make their emotions seem irrational to others but messing with their things can trigger a large emotional reaction. Often this is something they can’t control, which is why you may need to seek professional help to relieve these habits.
Do hoarders get violent?
There are times when hoarders can become violent. This depends on how attached to their items they are. They often can feel deeply emotionally attached to their hoarded items. Some hoarders have developed a hoarding disorder that can be associated with OCD. Any disorder can greatly impact our emotions and reactions, which is why hoarders can become violent. This behaviour typically won’t come out unless someone messes with their belongings. That could involve attempting to remove the items from the house, or even just moving them out of the way.
It’s important to constantly communicate with hoarders before touching their belongings. This way you can avoid emotions escalating and reduce the risk of violence occurring.
With good communication, you can even get to a point where a hoarder might be ready to part with their belongings! One great way to help them declutter is by hiring a skip bin! You can check out our Capital Hire skips for hire. We can deliver skips to Canberra and skips to Bungendore and more!