Hoarding has for the first time been classified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a medical disorder.
The WHO described the condition as “accumulation of possessions due to excessive acquisition of or difficulty discarding possessions, regardless of their actual value”. It added this led to homes being cluttered to the point where “safety is compromised”.
Hoarding disorder was recognised by the NHS in 2013. About 1.2 million UK households are affected. Megan Carnes, of charity Hoarding UK, said the WHO’s move could help thousands get more help.
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She added: “We hope this results in a global acceptance that this complex psychological and behavioural coping mechanism is not a ‘lifestyle choice’.”
Hoarding is one of three new conditions to be recognised, with gaming disorder and olfactory reference disorder, where people wrongly think they smell bad.
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