Abstract: The purpose of this Hoarding algorithm is to provide a framework for understanding hoarding in a homeopathic way. By looking beyond just the symptomatic presentation of hoarding, the homeopathic practitioner can begin to appreciate the context and root cause of this disorder. Furthermore, material medica is explored in a way that opens to future possibilities.
“Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.” 3.
stressful life events3
death of a loved one
loss of possessions in a fire or other natural catastrophe
“Often surfaces during the teenage to early adult years.”3 “Initial start of hoarding symptoms is thought to happen in childhood or adolescence (typical onset is around age 13) and it is chronic and progressive. Hoarding is more common in older than younger age groups.” 11
“occurs in an estimated 2 to 6 percent of the population of the USA. Some research show hoarding disorder is more common in males than females. It is also more common among older adults–three times as many adults 55 to 94 years are affected by hoarding disorder compared to adults 34 to 44 years old.”12 “hoarding disorder is more common among people who have a family member who has hoarding disorder.”13
Etiology: Fear of Poverty
Mind, Fear, poverty
Mind, Fear, misfortune
Mind, Delusion, want, he would come to
Mind, Delusion, is ruined, he
Mind, Delusion, will be ruined, he
Mind, Delusion, poor; he is
Mind, Anxiety, money matters, about
Mind, Collects many things
Mind, Indifference, welfare of others
Fear that the Past will disappear
Fear that they will not realize their potential
Mind, Plans, making many plans
Mind, Plans, gigantic plans
Mind, Deeds, great
Mind, Delusion, great
Mind, Fancies, absorbed
Mind, Fancies, exaltation
Mind, Ideas, abundant
Mind, Succeeds, never
Mind, Irresolute, acts, in
Mind, Fear, undertaking anything, of
Mind, Confidence, want of
Mind, Anxiety (with modalities)
Mind, Anxiety, Everything, about
OCD: Shopping, Collecting
Mind, Thoughts, Persistent
Mind, Squandering (with modalities)
Mind, Insanity; makes useless
Mind, Ailments from grief (with subrubrics)
Mind, Ailments from death of loved ones:
Cat, of a
Child; of a
Mammal; of a
Parents or friends; of
Mind, Ailments from love, disappointed
Mind, Sadness (with modalities)
Mind, Sit, inclination to
Mind, Talk, indisposed to talk, taciturn
Mind, Indifferent, Appearance, to
Mind, Indifferent, External things
Mind, Indifferent, Household affairs
Mind, Indifferent, Possessions
Mind, Indifferent, Surroundings, to
Mind, Neglecting everything
Mind, Neglecting household affairs
Mind, Washing, Aversion
Mind, Delusion, Even rags seemed beautiful
Mind, Delusion, Old rags seemed as fine as silk
Physical Infirmity: an indisposition
Plan of Action:
Remedies to consider:
Anacardium orientale – May collect meticulous files on a specific topic which they love (the subject near and dear to their heart/cardia) but live in squalor otherwise, with fast food containers piling up into mountains of trash. The collections they keep are part of grand plans, ailments from grief.
Rhus toxicodendron – OCD; ritualistic tendencies, Rigid routines
Mancinella venenata – The mind cannot sort out the good from the bad.
Ignatia amara – Ailments from the loss of a loved one. Never fully grieved their loss. instead they cannot remove items that the loved one was surrounded with. Sighing but no crying.
Nux vomica – Squanders money to retain a sense of order and control after loss. Fear of poverty, Co-factor: alcoholism
Clematis erecta – Profound regret over their perceived dereliction of duty that resulted in an unrecoverable loss. Ailments from homesickness
Aethusa cynapium –Hoards/collects animals. Relates to animals more than to people
Conium maculatum – Buys too much stuff. May not even get around to opening their purchases. ‘retail’ therapy after the loss of a long time mate. Shopping and buying and accumulating keeps them busy and helps avoid the grief.
Elementals and Salts:
Ammonium carbonicum – Aversion to washing, Indolent, Not open to suggestion, Intolerant to contradiction
Dwells on the past, Obsessive thinking
Antimonium crudum – Keeps things as reminders of the past. Sentimental May hoard food so that they can binge eat.
Chlorinum – Cannot get rid of things because of the idea and the fear that they could end up as a homeless person. Prone to hives from chlorinated water.
Natrum muriaticum – Ailments from grief, a love loss; cannot let go of the past embodied in objects…wants to ‘make something out of them’, something concrete and tangible. Grief made tangible through a symbolic object: a pillar of salt.
Sulphur –Cannot discriminate between treasures and trash. Finds value in things that others see no value in. Fear of poverty but too proud to admit it. Cares not for what others think of them or their appearance or the appearance of their ‘stuff’. Lazy in regard to hygiene. Adverse to bathing.
Narcissistic personality disorder
Lac equinum Sentimental
Lac felinum Sentimental
Grief reaction after loss of pet cat.
Lac delphinium – Desire to touch things/ Impelled to touch things/ Trifles seem important
Fear of robbers, Introverted with a sensation of isolation, Loss of self control
The Reptilian Realm:
All the venoms
Halieetus leucocephalus – A large nest of collections, especially of small objects which they fashion into something new in rudimentary ways.
Oleum jecoris assili From Massimo Mangialavori:
Withdrawal is their main strategy. Something bad happened to which they no longer react anymore.
Immaturit, Want to remain in a safe environment and not be disturbed. Not much social interaction
Saccharum album Hoards food
Streptococcinum – An exciting cause/a trigger for OCD behaviors
Adjuncts: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Therapeutic Sources & References:
1Hoarding: Buried Alive: The Learning Channel
2Remaining in a Safe Environment: The Sea Remedies by M. Mangialavori
7Anxiety and Depression Association of America website. Hoarding: The Basics. Accessed March 28, 2017.
8Morein-Zamir S, Papmeyer M, Pertusa A. et al. The profile of executive function in OCD hoarders and hoarding disorder. Psychiatry Research. 30 March 2014;215(3):659-667.
9Frost RO, Steketee G, Tolin DF, Sinopli N, Ruby D. Motives for acquiring and saving in hoarding disorder, OCD and community controls. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders. January 2015;4:54-59.
10American Psychiatric Association. Understanding Mental Disorders: Your Guide to DSM-5. 2015. American Psychiatric Publishing.
© 2010 Lynn Amara