For Mental Health Professionals

What You Need to Know

Hoarding Disorder (HD) is a psychiatric illness in which individuals have difficulty getting rid of items, leading to excessive accumulation and clutter in their living space.  This accumulation and clutter prevents the living space from being used as intended, causing significant impairment in social, occupational, and/or other areas of functioning.  Some individuals with HD may acquire items excessively, further adding to the accumulation and clutter in their living space.

Prior to the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the DSM-5), HD was not included as a mental health diagnosis.  The DSM-5 introduces HD as an “Obsessive Compulsive-Related Disorder.”  Learning how to recognize, understand, and treat HD are essential skills for mental health clinicians.  Working with patients who may lack insight and with their frustrated family members, while also dealing compassionately with potential health and safety violations, can be tricky for even the most seasoned of clinicians.

This section contains important information for mental health professionals about how to diagnose, assess, and treat HD.  Click on the links below to learn more about each facet of working with those with HD.

Diagnosing Hoarding Disorder

Clinical Assessment

Treatment of Hoarding Disorder