Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hoarding - Wise Counsel

An excellent psychology podcast is Wise Counsel (feed), which consists of interviews conducted by Dr. David van Nuys PhD. with assorted guests. David van Nuys is both a psychologist as well as an experienced podcaster and interviewer. His other podcast, Shrink Rap Radio (feed), also on the subject of psychology can also be warmly recommended.

In the latest edition of Wise Counsel, Dr. Van Nuys spoke with Gail Steketee on the subject of hoarding. Everybody has to a certain extent a hard time throwing away what he no longer needs, but for some people, gathering stuff in the house can become a problem and this is called hoarding. The clutter can take over the dwelling space and get out of control. Apart from the sanitary and other practical problems this entails for those who have to live in the clutter, it will frequently also lead to socially unfit behavior, where the hoarding person will shy away from company, or will let nobody in the house. Steketee has studied this problem and relates on its symptoms and treatment.

The DSM sticks hoarding under OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), but she claims that this classification is not right and predicts that in future editions the classification will accordingly be changed. Hoarding is a disorder of itself. It is most common among peopel over 50, but those who hoard, usually will have shown initial signs already at a very early age. Mostly the hoarding is checked by significant others until later age. The treatment is through CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) as, so far, no medication has been found that has a persistent effect on hoarding. Patients respond to the therapy, relatively well.

At the episode's page, you can also read a transcript of David van Nuys's interview with Dr. Gail Steketee.

More Wise Counsel:
History of Marriage,
Jonathan Engel,
Self-Help with PTSD,
Wise Counsel - Psychology Podcast Review,
Irvin Yalom.

1 comment:

Dr. Z said...

Hello Anne,
Interesting that Dr. Steketee thinks the next DSM will reclassify hoarding in a different category. The DSM is currently under revision and word is that several hard discussions are being experienced over how to classify certain conditions and the resulting politcal and insurance (in America) implications.

As always, thank you for your wonderful site and reserach.
Semper Pax, John