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Old 03-23-2019, 05:15 AM #1
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Default Tendency to Hoard things

My sister has tendency to hoard things which at times reach to scary levels. This also leads to lots of money being spent on these items.
This tendency has been there right from childhood even before bipolar diagnosis was made.
To me this appears like a symptom of mania. Can anyone else relate to this kind of symptom? and can medication help to control this.
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Old 03-23-2019, 06:15 AM #2
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Default Re: Tendency to Hoard things

I met a bipolar hoarder in group therapy once. I'm not exactly sure how early in her life it began, but she had been doing it for quite some time. She had lost a lot in her life and the hoarding seemed to be her way of holding on and controlling in a world that felt out of control to her. She also had severe OCD.

I haven't come across any information to support hoarding being a symptom of bipolar disorder, but I agree that the compulsion to buy is amplified during times of mania. The person I met had even less ability to reason over her purchases when manic and it was difficult for her to even see it as a problem. She became agitated when we discussed it in group and felt strongly that it wasn't her fault even though she admitted it was a problem. She was medicated for her bipolar symptoms, but the hoarding persisted. I'm not an expert, but I think you're dealing with two separate diagnosis that affect each other. Is your sister on meds?

I hope others here can shed more light on this for you.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:00 AM #3
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Default Re: Tendency to Hoard things

My b-i-l and nephew are hoarders, but neither have bipolar disorder. My sister (their wife, mother) does have bipolar disorder, but she does not hoard. She does have to live in the house, and unfortunately it does affect her life in negative ways. She doesn't even want me to visit her. She only visits me at my dad's or my home.

I would think that when mania ends, people not prone to hoarding that hyperspend would either return purchases or clean up/organize the messes. I would think that if they didn't it might reflect an additional mental disorder/tendency. Or lack of motivation from depression? Hoarding fits in the Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders section of the DSM-5. Comordid conditions definitely happen. On page 251 of the DSM-5, it says that "75% of individuals with hoarding disorder have comordid mood or anxiety disorder." The "most common comorbid conditions are major depressive disorder (up to 50% of the cases), social anxiety disorder (social phobia), and generalized anxiety disorder. Approximately 20% of individuals with hoarding disorder also have symptoms that meet the diagnostic criteria for OCD."

I hope your sister has made her psychiatrist and therapist aware of her hoarding tendencies so they can analyze its severity and actual causes.

I have no access to data on how many people with bipolar hoard. I do know that not all people with bipolar disorder have hyperspending as a major symptom, despite what is commonly portrayed. I know many people with bipolar disorder don't hoard. I know I don't hoard.
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Old 03-23-2019, 11:21 AM #4
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Default Re: Tendency to Hoard things

I do do this, sometimes without even knowing I'm doing it

I tend to feel bad about people giving away objects, so when they don't need them anymore and have no use for them, they can give them to me

seriously I have hair bands, empty bottles, old broken phones, a couple of magnets, a vape, random letters that people didn't tear up, a box of someone's fake nails, a few sets of keys belonging to... well, who knows- old places they moved out of probably, loads more- all from other people that don't want them

also if I see someone with something I don't have, then I need to hoard it

not their's, but I need to get loads of them
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Old 03-23-2019, 11:23 AM #5
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Default Re: Tendency to Hoard things

I am the same with dvds and cds

litirally if I see for example 6 coppies of the same thing in a shop, I need them all
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Old 03-23-2019, 12:22 PM #6
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Default Re: Tendency to Hoard things

Thanks everyone for responses.

@fern46 : Yes she is taking medication and we are working with a Psychiatrist

@BirdDancer: My sister has no issues with her hoarding tendencies, but at home it makes things problematic. A room is unusable bcoz its full of stuff. So she never raises it with Psychiatrist.

@raging_vortex: Thanks for sharing your details. Do you take any steps or any medication to help with hoarding tendency?
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My mother and me are caretakers to this person at home itself and working with a Psychiatrist for medication.
Due to behaviour issues she is a difficult person to counsel and currently i am playing role of counsellor to her.
I work as a Software professional and do get support from my office.
Care taking work gives lots of challenging situations and i am on this platform to get guidance and support.
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Old 03-23-2019, 12:57 PM #7
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Default Re: Tendency to Hoard things

It would be a separate dx. Hoarding is not a symptom of bipolar.

As others have mentioned (and what you wonder), mania can (though not always) include spending sprees where a bunch of stuff is accumulated. But as BirdDancer pointed out, those without a co-morbid hoarding issue would tend to return/get rid of/organize/whatever. Hoarding got tucked under the OCD/anxiety umbrella, though I remember reading that they were thinking of putting it as its own separate disorder (I don't know if that happened or not.)

Personally, I am the anti-hoarder, lol. My mother is a hoarder (she has multiple issues) and I'd be damned before I'd go down that path. I majorly purge possessions with ease. I live comfortably and spaciously in 250 sq ft.
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Tendency to Hoard things
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Old 03-23-2019, 03:19 PM #8
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Default Re: Tendency to Hoard things

Granted. I'm a hoarder.
I try to disguise it as collections, but is hoarding.

My youngest son calls me OCD.
Just because the clothes have to be in the same type of hanger,
pointing to the same direction, in the same rack per type,
and of course, color coded.
That ain't no OCD. It's order, lol.

Now, my worst problem with the hoarding thing,
is that every time I throw away anything, I need it right away.
It doesn\t matter that it has been sitting in the shelves for years.

Yep, it's better to be a have-much, that a have-not.
Althought I've been happy when what I had was little.
Always thankfull.
I came here naked. And will live the room in the same fashion.

Cheers.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:27 PM #9
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Default Re: Tendency to Hoard things

I'm bipolar and do not hoard. If anything I systematically purge every so often and get rid of everything I'm not currently using. Clothes I no longer like and so on. I just did this. Bags and bags donated away. My mother wasn't a classic hoarder but wouldn't part with things and had so much stuff. Maybe that's why I clear all my things out? Dunno. But I can't live with too much stuff..
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Old 03-24-2019, 03:03 AM #10
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Default Re: Tendency to Hoard things

Itís more of a OCD Anxiety deal than a Bipolar trait. Sure in a manic episode some people binge buy , but once coming down either return stuff or pack away neatly.

I am the biggest minimalist. I canít handle anything extra. If there is stuff around like when the kids come to visit I just have to deep breath the entire time and nibble on my Xanax
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