Hoarding Prevails across Span of Mental Disorders

Article excerpt

AT THE AAGP ANNUAL MEETING

ORLANDO -- Compulsive hoarding traditionally has been considered virtually synonymous with obsessive-compulsive disorder, but its reach actually extends far beyond.

Indeed, hoarding turns out to be highly prevalent across a broad span of psychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder.

In a random sample of 165 psychiatric inpatients with a variety of diagnoses who were screened using the Hoarding Rating Scale, 70 (42%) showed evidence of clinically significant compulsive hoarding, Dr. Nidhi Goel reported at the annual meeting of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.

Clinically significant hoarding as defined by a score of 14 or more was present in half of patients hospitalised with bipolar disorder, 41% of those with substance use disorders, close to 40% of those diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, more than one-third of patients hospitalized for major depression, and 28% with other psychotic spectrum disorders, noted Dr. Goel, director of inpatient psychiatric services at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The clinical implication is clear, she added: Hoarding disorder--newly upgraded to a full-blown diagnostic category in the DSM-5--needs to be brought up onto more psychiatrists' radars. "Patients come in with depression, substance use problems, and all sorts of Axis I diagnoses where we just forget to assess the hoarding problem. Then when they're ready to be discharged, a family member mentions, 'We cannot even get into their apartment because of all the stuff that has piled up.' This disorder negatively [affects] our patients' quality of life quite a lot," Dr. Goel said. "My thinking is that if hoarding is so common in all of these disorders, could treating hoarding prevent some of these other disorders? We don't know. It hasn't been studied," Dr. …