Compulsive Hoarding of Food
Compulsive hoarding may be a condition that's characterized by the uncontrollable got to acquire and save things leading to excessive amounts of clutter. A lot of the time, the clutter reaches the purpose that sections of the individual’s home can't be used for his or her original purpose. The types of things hoarded vary from person to person and include items like books, pets, newspapers, garbage and food.
Compulsive hoarding of food has its own peculiarities; the food hoarder has an uncontrollable desire to buy more and more foods – both perishable and non perishable foods. The foods explode and become stale yet the food hoarder feels guilty about throwing them out. Though the reason for hoarding differs from person to person, for some guilt stems from the fact that other people elsewhere have none and so it is wrong to discard food even when it is decayed. Canned foods expire in the house and they are eaten even though they pose a hazard to health. Even perishable foods are eaten even though the rotting process has begun. The whole home becomes filled with rotten and stale foods to the extent that there is no place to cook, no place to eat, no place to wash up the dishes and the sad part of it is that the food hoarder does not appear to be bothered.
The problems posed by hoarding food gradually grow worse because the home becomes infested with pests like flies, roaches, mice and rats. This type of problem (infestation) presents a hazard of another dimension from that mentioned earlier. The couples were later found to possess rat bites on their bodies once they were finally rescued, fortnight after their ordeal began.
The risk of physical injury is additionally greatly increased in such cases as seen within the case presented above. Unfortunately, many hoarders consider their hoarding actions sensible and they justify them by stating that saving things such as food is beneficial. They are even oblivious of the unsavory odors of moldy foods that prevail in their home.
Hoarding of food tends to stem from past experiences of severe poverty; according to 60 year-old Jill, a food hoarder, the period of poverty and lack she experienced was such that she had no choice in the foods she could eat and this had a severe impact on her. To compensate she ensures she buys as much variety as she desires. Food hoarders are prone to looking for bargains and sales which gives them an opportunity to buy even more food on the cheap an action they find irresistible as it means they are making these great savings. The irony though is that hoarding of food leads to more wastage due to rot and loss amidst all the clutter than is experienced by the average person who does not hoard food.
As is the case with other forms of obsessive-compulsive disorders, compulsive hoarding is a response to fear and hoarding of food is no exception. The hoarder of food tends to possess a fear of poverty and lack. This fear may sometimes be as profound within the hoarder on elicit a grief-like response to the action of discarding anything.