8 Signs You Might Become a Hoarder
You've watched Hoarders
with equal parts sympathy and fear: "Will that be me in 20 years?" Researchers are still trying to understand the disorder, but here are some clues:
A cracked plastic dust pan is your ratatouille with a madeleine on the side.
Randy Frost, Ph.D.
, a professor of psychology at Smith College and a co-author of Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things
, has found that hoarders use tangible objects to access memories. We all do this to an extent, but hoarders are taken back to an era when they see an object, the way most of us viscerally react to nostalgic smells, tastes or melodies. They are less confident in their ability to remember than non-hoarders (even if their ability is actually normal) and see objects as a tagging system for memories. Hoarders also have a heightened appreciation for the aesthetics of ordinary stuff, not just objets d'art.