By Matthew Hutson, published on March 1, 2007 - last reviewed on November 20, 2015
For some, clutter is a nuisance. For others, it's a handicap. The 2 million compulsive hoarders in the United States should find relief in a study in the Journal of Psychiatric Research: Serotonin reuptake inhibitors may help them stop collecting and start trashing. Compulsive hoarding often goes hand-in-hand with anxiety disorders like OCD, and sometimes occurs alongside depression, dementia, and anorexia. Some sufferers form emotional attachments to their belongings. Others are indecisive, disorganized, and prone to procrastination. In any case, lead author Sanjaya Saxena says, "In contrast to conventional wisdom and clinical lore, compulsive hoarding is treatable," and he recommends a combination of medication and psychotherapy.
Psychologist Randy Frost of Smith College, well-known for his studies of perfectionism, offers some tips for reclaiming your space: