Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Compulsive Hoarding Found Common in GAD

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Compulsive Hoarding Found Common in GAD

Article excerpt

MIAMI -- Compulsive hoarding is manifest in more than just a subset of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. A percentage of patients with general anxiety disorder and social phobia also reported hoarding symptoms in a study presented at the annual conference of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America.

Compulsive hoarding was originally defined as "acquisition of or failure to discard possessions that appear to be useless or of limited value." However, the definition was expanded to include significant clutter in the home and behavior that causes impairment (Behav. Res. Ther. 1996;34: 341-50).

"Compulsive hoarding is frequently associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder, but what about other anxiety disorders?" asked Suzanne A. Meunier, Ph.D., a researcher at the Institute of Living, a part of Hartford (Conn.) Hospital.

To answer this question, Dr. Meunier and her associates studied 139 people referred not for hoarding but for a primary diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), general anxiety disorder, panic and/or agoraphobia, social phobia, or for a specific phobia. About 20% presented with comorbid depression. The mean age was 37 years; 42% were male, and 92% of the patients were white.

Participants completed self-report packets before coming to the clinic. Clinicians rated severity of anxiety illness, and patients self-reported using the Anxiety Disorder Interview Schedule for DSM-IV. Investigators used the midpoint score on the Saving Inventory-Revised tool as a cutoff for pathologic hoarding symptoms. …

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