Nobody Wants to be the Crazy Cat Lady.

Do you know someone who is a hoarder? Maybe they are lovingly referred to as a packrat? As it turns out, hoarding is actually a serious mental disorder that affects aspects of a person’s life. Many hoarders have problems with their health and with holding down a job. And nearly 80% of animal hoarders are living with dead or dying animals. Hoarding is not a moral failing, but rather it is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with by professionals. Scolding and shaming a hoarder is likely to be counterproductive.

Common things people hoard are books and newspapers, craft supplies, containers, and junk mail. Over half of Americans say they know someone who is a hoarder, but less than 5% of Americans can correctly identify hoarding as a mental disorder. The common belief is that hoarders just need a talking-to and a dumpster, but they really need help.

Many hoarders are overweight or obese, and many are smokers and have chronic health problems. A small portion of hoarders even die from their disease by being trapped in house fires unable to escape. Many hoarders experience serious career consequences from their hoarding. Learn more about the reality of hoarding from this infographic!

Like what you read? Give Brian Wallace a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.