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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Animal hoarders, junk hoarders, and extreme neat freaks, who has the largest psychological problem?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (21138 points ) August 6th, 2011

I have heard more than once that people who hoard pets, or stuff suffer from depression, AHAD, OCD, etc, I somehow don’t believe they all have some mental distress. What of those people who are anal neat freaks, would anyone say there are mental problems there? Those whose homes look like they are ready for a photo shoot with Architectural Digest, everything looks stages and arranged for viewing. All the towels hanging even, and balanced, all the cans stacked according to height with all labels facing outward, no dust, no fingerprints on any shiny surface, carpets which have to have knifed in vac patterns, and if it can’t be arranged it is hidden out of sight. Is that as bad as hoarders even though it doesn’t appear as bad? Would a child growing up in such a sterile environment not suffer something, even if not as much as a home filled to the brim with clutter?

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7 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

It depends on the individual person and the degree that their compulsions and anxiety affect their lives. However those things happen to manifest really isn’t the issue. They are both symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorders, so the direction that the symptoms happen to go in really doesn’t say anything about the severity of the problem.

augustlan's avatar

Extreme OCD is really tough to deal with, no matter how it presents itself. My immediate thought, though, is that animal hoarders have the largest negative effect… simply because a great many animals will suffer their disease along with them.

YARNLADY's avatar

My mother was like that, but no one suffered because of it. My sister and I are fairly neat housekeepers, and my brother lives like a pig, but it doesn’t seem to bother him.

Coloma's avatar

It’s a matter of degree, and I agree with @augustlan as to animals suffering the most in many of these situations. I’m a thrower away-er, haha, no worries here about becoming a hoarder, of anything. I don’t like clutter.

Meego's avatar

Anything interrupting in your day to day living is a problem. Hoarders are usually in the spectrum of being obsessed with things.

Being too clean can become an issue too but being neat, tidy and organized and vacuuming every other day is different than worrying about what germs have piled up on any surface that make you feel like you need to scrub it until you rub the original surface off and your hands are raw.

So yeah I think that constitutes as a problem when your preoccupied with one thing only, regardless if it’s stuff or cleaning it.

anartist's avatar

They are all horrible except neat freaks who are just annoying. Animal hoarders are the worst as they don’t recognize the damage they do to the critters.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

It depends on how extreme you consider “extreme.” I love my home, I love being organized, and I hate clutter. Some things my family has said: If you take out a glass, mom will have it in the dishwasher before you can get the milk out of the fridge; if you get up to go pee in the night the bed will be made when you get back. They are exagerating, but often they will deliberately put something on a counter, hang a towel lopsided or move a knickknack and then take bets to see how long it will take me to fix it. Once my son and daughter had a bet to see how long our new video cabinet would be in the house before a doily and knickknack got put on it. My son won the bet at less than 10 minutes.

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