In support of Rotary International President Gordan R. McInally’s commitment to mental health, the Westborough Rotary Club has invited accomplished speakers to discuss this critical issue.

At the club’s September 13 meeting, Lynn Faust, Executive Director of Metro Community Development Corporation, a regional non-profit corporation that promotes self-sufficiency in the MetroWest and greater Boston, specifically addressed
hoarding disorder.
Hoarding disorder, often called a “Disorder of Control, " is not new. However, as the public is destigmatizing mental illness, hoarding is beginning to come out in the open. Here’s the reality: Five percent of people are hoarders, which means 1 in 5 individuals suffer from this disorder. This disorder not only causes immense anxiety for the hoarder but also for their families.  
Although many people collect stuff that creates some clutter, hoarders do so to an extreme. One-third of homes across every income level struggle with serious clutter. No wonder one in 11 people rent storage! We live in a society that promotes consumerism through social media encouraging frequent purchases. Furthermore, hoarding leads to safety issues for the hoarder, often resulting in injuries. Hoarding disorder is the leading cause of home eviction, and we can’t ignore this condition. 

As Ms. Faust explained, hoarding disorder is closely linked to trauma. The seeds of this debilitating disorder generally begin before the age of twenty, typically between 8 - 12 years old. Hoarding disorder is prevalent among veterans, survivors of domestic violence, and the elderly. In addition to suffering from isolation, many hoarders experience serious financial destabilization.  

“The good news,” Ms. Faust stated, “is people can recover from hoarding by learning self-talk” and other strategies that her staff teaches individuals who suffer from this condition.