Children and Compulsive Hoarding

Do the symptoms of hoarding develop younger that we think?

WDET’s Amy Miller talks with Dr. David Rosenberg, Professor and Chair of Behavioral Neurosciences at Wayne State University, about hoarding in childhood.


Eighty percent of all hoarding cases have an early onset in childhood, and the behavior rarely occurs alone. “It typically happens with depression, with OCD, with bipolar disorder,” Rosenberg says.


A hoarder can be incredibly organized, even with a collection of detritus. “What happens though, is that if the hoarding is not corrected, is that it breaks through those organization skills, and chaos reigns.”


Hoarding sneaks up on someone unexpectedly, says Rosenburg, developing over time. “It’s a myth that one morning you wake up and your child has a room full of hoarded items… it sneaks up both on the families and the child.” Peak age for hoarding is around college, with the symptoms first occurring around the age of fourteen.


To hear more of Amy’s conversation with Dr. Rosenberg, click the link above.