Hoarding - due to poor trust in your memory?

Clutter and Hoarding were popular presentations during 2016.

Some of you might be able to relate to the following thoughts. Substitute the word "object" for any items that matter to you - newspapers, books, bills, bags, keys: “my memory is so bad I have to leave this object in sight or I’ll forget about it”, “saving this object means I don't have to rely on my memory”, and “if I put this object into a filing system, I will forget about it".

Research published recently proposes that hoarding and clutter may be related to poor memory confidence which is sometimes associated with the inattentive subtype of ADHD.

Hallion, Diefenbach and Tolin responding to the potentially high level of comorbidity between Hoarding Disorder and ADHD proposed a model that may explain the connection. Researchers like Frost in 2011 and Sheppard in 2010 suggest that 20 to 33 per cent of people with Hoarding Disorder qualify for ADHD Inattentive subtype. The model by Hallion at al. suggests that inattention leads to a lack of confidence in a person's memory. That lack of confidence leads to an excessive saving of possessions. 

Hoarding leads to clutter which in turn interferes with daily activities; what the researchers call impairment.

The researchers point out that their idea needs much more research; that there are other risk factors that need to be investigated - genetic vulnerabilities, poor planning and organisational skills, and unhelpful beliefs/thoughts and poor parental examples.

However some of their research supports the use of treatments that help a person become less anxious about forgetting or decrease their reliance of possessions as the memory crutch. They point to cognitive remediation and treatments that might improve memory.

The detailed paper: Hallion, L., Diefenbach, G., and Tolin, D. 2005. Poor memory confidence mediates the association between inattention symptoms and hoarding severity and impairment.Journal of Obsessive-Complusive and Related Orders 7 pp 43-48

URL: http://www.adultadhd.org.au/documents/resources/adhd/hoarding.pdf

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