Whilst collecting objects has been seen to have a positive mental effect, scientists have claimed that it can all too easily turn to compulsion.
Researchers have suggested that marketing campaigns can trigger a disorder in the most vulnerable people which encourages them to begin collecting. Then, when they find themselves unable to exercise control or restraint, the pathology has taken hold.
Hoarding can often lead to houses being full to the brim with clutter and junk. This is where the experts can step in to try to treat the patient, using a complete house clearance and psychological techniques in order to remove what they have been unwilling to let go of for so long.
Professor Francisca Lopez Torrecillas, from the department of personality, psychological assessment and treatment at the University of Granada, told The Science Blog that in recent years: “A very significant increase has been observed of cases where uncontrolled collecting has caused obsessive-compulsive disorder and shopping addiction.”
It can start small with everyday objects, Torrecillas suggested, but can quickly go beyond a person’s control if they are typically susceptible. She also noted that the traits should be relatively easy for an outsider to pick up.
Torrecillas also told Medical News Today that perfectionism, meticulousness and a need for an extreme order “are very frequent traits in people who like collecting articles.” She did add, however, that they could also be symptoms of other psychological conditions.