Critical Development in the History of Hoarding

Discard Studies

By Zoltana Domotor, fromIf I was a Hoarder:

On December 1, 2012 the board of trustees of the American Psychiatric Association approved the final diagnostic criteria for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, due to be published in May 2013. Among the diagnoses new to the fifth edition of the manual is Hoarding Disorder, which is defined as:

(A) Persistent difficulty discarding or parting with personal possessions, even those of apparently useless or limited value, due to strong urges to save items, distress, and/or indecision associated with discarding.

Interestingly, the primary behavior to define the disorder is not the act of acquiring—which is included in the diagnostic criteria as a specifier—but a failure to produce (or recognize) waste. Paired with this inadequate waste production is the stipulation that it result in a verifiable reality of clutter:

(B) The symptoms result in the accumulation of…

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