Hoarding disorder in humans is generally understood to be a persistent difficulty in discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. Compulsive hoarding is defined in medical terms as a disorder in which an individual has a compulsion to acquire large numbers of possessions and an inability to discard items. The behavior usually has harmful effects— emotional, physical, social, financial, and even legal—for the hoarder and family members. An inability to use living spaces for their intended purposes because of clutter and distress or inability to function due to hoarding can compound the symptoms of the disorder. This often means that the environment in which the possessions are being kept becomes so cluttered that it can no longer be used ...

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