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People with ADHD have an increased likelihood of suffering from hoarding, study finds

0 2 years ago

A study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research uncovered elevated levels of hoarding in patients with ADHD. The findings revealed that nearly one in five patients with ADHD reported clinically significant hoarding symptoms and that inattention predicted the severity of hoarding.

Hoarding disorder (HD) involves an excessive accumulation of possessions and difficulty getting rid of these possessions. These behaviors result in a buildup of clutter, which often leads to significant distress and difficulty functioning in day-to-day life.

While hoarding behaviors tend to emerge in adolescence, many sufferers do not recognize the problem — or seek treatment — until much later in life when symptoms have significantly progressed. As a result, most studies involving participants with HD are conducted among older populations in their 50s and 60s.

One way to promote the earlier identification of HD is to study patients with disorders whose symptoms overlap with HD. While previous research has explored symptoms of HD in patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), study authors Sharon Morein-Zamir opted to focus on patients with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) — a disorder characterized by inattention and impulsivity. The authors were motivated by recent studies suggesting that people with hoarding disorder present with features of ADHD.

“Much of my research involves understanding mental health conditions relating to compulsivity and impulsivity,” explained Morein-Zamir, an associate professor at Anglia Ruskin University and co-director of the Centre for Mind and Behaivour.”As part of that I have investigated amongst other conditions aspects of ADHD, HD and OCD. I think being aware of the issues faced by patients diagnosed with any of these conditions makes one aware of the similarities and differences between them – and raises the idea of possible links.”

“My personal experience has been that the link between inattention and hoarding is well known in the HD domain (patients and clinicians). The possibility of a link does not seem to be well known at all in the ADHD research or clinical community at all. Psychiatry and the understanding of mental health is/should be moving away from compartmentalizing different aspects of a person’s experiences/symptoms and giving them separate labels.”


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