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Treatment For Hoarders (or Obsessive Compulsive Collectors)

Author : Dazzer Lang

While there is no real cure for compulsive hoarding, there are treatments that can help a person overcome this affliction. "No real cure" means that this problem will never go away completely. Compulsive hoarding is a problem that gets slowly worse over a person's lifetime - it is a problem that the person will have to deal with for the rest of their lives. However, there are two main treatments for hoarders which should help them manage the symptoms more effectively.

One of the treatments that are available to treat the symptoms of compulsive hoarding is medication. Research studies have shown some compulsive hoarders that have taken antidepressant medications such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft) have responded well to them, but many have not. The purpose of these medications is to increase the level of serotonin activity in the brain. But, overall, people with compulsive hoarding do not appear to respond as well to the medications as do people with other kinds of obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is another treatment that can help people to manage their hoarding affectations. It is a therapy that goes beyond just counseling the person in order to diagnose the reasons why they hoard certain items. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of treatment where the therapist often visits the person's home. The overall goal of the treatment is to clean up and organize the clutter along with improving their decision- making and organizational skills. This allows the patient to once again use their space functionally and improve their quality of life. Cognitive therapy is used to challenge the beliefs within the patient that support the hoarding and help the patient prepare themselves for the de-cluttering phase of treatment. With the therapist's help, the patient is eventually able to sort through their possessions and clean their home. Only a small area of the home is worked on at a time, and the therapist helps the patient to make all of the decisions about what to keep, throw out, or donate. Once an area of the home is cleared, the treatment then focuses on maintenance and the prevention of a relapse.

Researchers have also used brain imaging to measure the brain activity in patients with compulsive hoarding syndrome. It was compared with non-hoarding patients and found that hoarders had a unique pattern of brain activity. Hoarders had significantly lower metabolism in the brain region involved in visual processing. Future medication treatments are aiming to target brain dysfunctions specifically associated with hoarding. Future treatment will also target the information-processing deficits that appear to be present in patients with the compulsive-hoarding syndrome like decision-making issues, problems with organization skills, and problems with attention and memory, potentially resulting in an improvement in the overall syndrome.

Author's Resource Box

For more any information on any help topics concerning Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour you can visit Compulsive Hoarding where you can download a mini course which is aimed to help someone with OCC within 7 days of starting the course.

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Tags:   obsessive, compulsive, disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, hoarders

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Submitted : 2011-04-03    Word Count : 870    Times Viewed: 428