Every case is different, so it is very hard to pinpoint a true reason of why people hoard. There are a number of reasons people have hoarded in the past:
· There is a family history of hoarding, where the behavior was inherited, or learned at early age.
· The sufferer experienced a traumatic event or serious loss, such as the death of a spouse or parent,
· Mental decline in the elderly tied with a mental disorder
· The hoarder suffers from an information processing issue.
· Sentimental saving - (“This means too much to me to throw away”)
The hoarder may:
· Have a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder
· Have difficultly categorizing items
· Have problems making decisions
· Be incapable of seeing the true value in an object
· Have a chemical imbalance in the brain
· Think: “What if I need this some day?”
· Think: “I could use this to do such and such.”
· Be unable to resist the sale or bulk option
There are even more reasons of why people hoard. The most common and accepted theory of why people hoard is that they suffer from a type obsessive-compulsive disorder. The problem with this theory is that most cases have non-hoarding OCD symptoms. Hoarding is now considered a component of obsessive compulsive personality disorder, and the patient usually displays other mental illnesses such as dementia and schizophrenia. But again, most patients do not meet criteria for either disorders or mental illnesses.
Each case is different, and as more research is done on hoarding, the answers will become clear. There is also some strong evidence that hoarding begins early in life, and there have even been documented cases of children as young as three years old hoarding. Just like adults, children who have this problem have a harder time recognizing that their actions and their behaviors are problems that are affecting their lives in a negative way. The hoarding problem gets bigger and blossoms into a disorder by late adulthood. People that have a family history of hoarding, so genetics and upbringing are likely among the triggering factors in most cases.