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Tragic events or feelings of loss could have also triggered Sharyn's urge to hoard, Dr. Tolin says. "You probably start with a person who's already vulnerable and several different levels to develop this problem, and then something happens that kind of pushes them over the edge," he says. "But, again, lots of people lose things, lose people, face losses, have bad things happen in their lives, and this isn't necessarily how they react. So it would be oversimplifying things to say that's the cause."