1. Hoarding disorder

Reality TV has made a spectacle of hoarders, but the science behind this disorder is emerging. Hoarding has been associated with both obsessive–compulsive personality disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and is listed under both diagnoses in the current DSM.  But the experts studying this condition suggest that compulsive hoarding seems to be independent from other disorders.

“Many people collect many things, sometimes excessively. That is not hoarding disorder,” said Staab of the Mayo Clinic. “Hoarding disorder identifies people who have an intense urge to accumulate large quantities of items, beyond any reasonable need for the them, usually to the extent that available space in their homes and sometimes workplaces is severely compromised.”

People with the condition have persistent difficulty parting with possessions, regardless of their value. They accumulate a large number of possessions that fill up living areas of their home or workplace until these areas can’t be used.

“Recent functional brain imaging studies suggest a different pattern of brain activity in patients with hoarding versus other OCD symptoms. All of these data support the separation of hoarding from OCD,” Staab said.

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