Hoarding: a complex problem
Unlike some of the better known mental health issues, like depression or OCD, hoarding has only recently been recognized as a serious mental health issue with its own specialized treatment options. Dr. Ochs is one of the specialists in this field, and heads up a self help group in Victoria, BC, that sufferers and their families can access.
Until fairly recently, Hoarding was considered a symptom of OCD. However, unlike OCD patients, hoarders are typically very attached to their problematic behaviors, and many will actively resist treatment. Hoarding is at least twice as prevalent as OCD, and can be very challenging to treat.
Like OCD, a specific version of CBT therapy is considered a first line treatment.
Dr. Ochs comments on the hoarding problem and what is being done about it in an in depth article in the Victoria Colonist paper: