Hoarding as a Behavioral Addiction

  • Jessica R. Grisham
  • Alishia D. Williams
  • Raja Kadib


Compulsive hoarding is a psychiatric syndrome with serious personal and public health consequences. Although the diagnostic status of hoarding is uncertain, it appears to be associated with a number of other psychiatric disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder. Several important features of hoarding, however, differentiate it from obsessive-compulsive disorder and other anxiety disorders. Moreover, there are important phenomenological similarities between hoarding and behavioral addictions, such as the pleasurable feelings that may be associated with collecting and saving. In this chapter, we review diagnostic and comorbidity issues regarding hoarding, while highlighting the relationship between hoarding and impulse control disorders. In addition, we discuss ways in which a behavioral addiction model may be consistent with compulsive hoarding. We also outline a prominent cognitive-behavioral theoretical model of hoarding that emphasizes the role of both information-processing deficits and excessive emotional attachment to possessions. Finally, we describe various self-report and interview measures used to assess hoarding, as well as current biological and psychological approaches to treatment.


Hoarding Collecting Saving Addiction Compulsions Obsessive-compulsive disorder 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica R. Grisham
    • 1
  • Alishia D. Williams
    • 1
  • Raja Kadib
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyThe University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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