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Saturday June 18, 2011

‘Underneath Every Hoarder Is a Normal Person Waiting to Be Dug Out’

It wasn’t until the 1990s that studies on compulsive hoarding were conducted. The first unexpected finding for the psychologists Randy Frost and Gail Steketee was that the problem was much more prevalent than was thought.

Frost and Steketee also found that hoarders were not driven by anxiety to acquire or collect items but by positive emotions. Anxiety enters the picture only when they try to throw anything away. Hoarders see things in things that other people don’t. They find value, comfort, solace, a buffer against loss, accumulated history in their stuff.

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