Many of us are at least vaguely familiar with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and the kind of effect it can have on a person’s behavior. Impulsiveness, low stress tolerance, restlessness, poor focus — these are just some of the related symptoms.
Though its exact cause still hasn’t been pinpointed, the triggers can occur in the prenatal phase of development, as well as in early childhood. However, it’s not uncommon for ADHD to be carried into adulthood.
It’s also known to co-occur with other mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, Tourette’s, conduct disorder, etc.
As scientists have discovered, there’s another disorder that can be added to the ADHD comorbidity list — hoarding.
Namely, a study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research reveals that every fifth person affected with ADHD could exhibit symptoms of clinical hoarding.
The research conducted for the purpose of determining the link between the two disorders was led by Anglia Ruskin University’s staff member Dr. Sharon Morein. It involved 88 adults diagnosed with ADHD, 19% of whom turned out to have hoarding tendencies.
Although hoarding was also present among the remaining 81% of the participants, it hadn’t progressed to the capacity to severely interfere with their everyday activities and compromise their lifestyle.
Interestingly, previous studies mostly directed curiosity toward the manifestation of hoarding in self-diagnosed older women. Still, ARU’s research indicates the gender ratio among the people diagnosed with both these disorders was roughly 50:50.
The practical significance of this study lies in the guidance it could provide to experts in treating both ADHD and hoarding disorder patients.
Hoarding behavior prevents people from letting go of their possessions and is driven by the need to save items. This can lead to clutter and an utter lack of order and control over one’s personal environment, but also to frustration, sadness, anxiety, depression, etc.
Penetrating the nature of the two disorders would allow us to help patients cope with their problems much more successfully. The goal is to enable them to create a healthier home environment and lead a far more fulfilling and productive lifestyle.