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  • Sam B.

Clutter

People with Executive Functioning deficits are often pitted as being messy and disorganized. While this can be the case, it's important to distinguish between clutter and hoarding. Hoarding is a form of OCD and there are few hallmark signs that distinguish hoarding from just clutter - the biggest difference being that a hoarder is totally out of control of the situation.


It's important to be aware of these differences because OCD can be co-morbid with ADHD. Treating ADHD will not solve a hoarding problem, but you certainly need to have the ADHD under some sort of control in order to begin treating the hoarding. A hoarder will often be overwhelmed, and that feeling will often inhibit the self-regulation needed for a person to pause an make Executive Functioning decisions. Pausing and self-regulating is how a hoarder will eventually be able to overcome the panic and obsession that are associated with the spiraling that leads to hoarding. So, proper medications and ADHD strategies are necessary to be in place.


There is a certain level of messiness or clutter that is okay. People with Executive Functioning deficits often need things to be out in the open space to aid their working memory. This may appear messy, but it could be part of a system that the person needs to be successful. However, there is a big difference between effective clutter and hoarding.


If you'd like to learn more of this topic, check out this recent podcast with hoarding expert Elaine Birchall and ADHD coach Jeff Copper.

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