Hoarding as a psychiatric symptom

D. Greenberg, E. Witztum, A. Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Collecting is a normal behavior in childhood and adulthood, while hoarding - the gathering, ordering, and disposal of articles without clear conscious motivation or control - is characterized as the pathologic counterpart of collecting. The literature describing the characteristics of collecting and the theories concerning its underlying mechanisms is presented along with eight case studies of adults who exhibited hoarding as a prominant symptom. It is apparent that hoarding is the final common pathway for a variety of processes: compulsive hoarding in obsessive compulsive disorder, fears of theft and poisoning in paranoid delusions, and the deterioration of habits in organic mental disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-421
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychiatry
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


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