Article originally sourced from University of Bath
New research conducted at the University of Bath has demonstrated important differences in how people with and without hoarding problems discard objects and the role their memories play.
It was already known that hoarding behaviour is driven by a strong emotional connection with objects. But the new experimental findings, published online in the journal Behavior Therapy, show that for people who hoard this connection may be in part attributable to the vivid, positive memories associated with those objects.
In essence, for those with hoarding problems, individual items become an extension of a given memory, becoming a barrier to decluttering and hence exacerbating an individual's problems. Drawing on the new findings, the team behind the study hope that cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) for hoarding might be enhanced by training individuals to respond differently to those memories.
Hoarding describes a problem where individuals have considerable difficulty letting go of possessions. Consequently, rooms can become so cluttered over time that living spaces becomes no longer usable for their intended purpose.