There's no cure for hoarding, but there is hope. Similar to alcohol, drug or gambling addictions, Dr. Tolin says living clean is a lifelong process—and the first step is to admit there's a problem. "The quick fix doesn't work, and it's not just about the stuff. The person really needs to improve their quality of life and make long-lasting behavioral changes," Dr. Tolin says. "Otherwise, as we see, the problem just starts again."
Although some hoarders respond well to antidepressants, Dr. Tolin says seeking cognitive-behavioral therapy may be more effective. During treatment, a therapist will visit the patient's home and help him learn how to make decisions and think clearly about his possessions.