Friday, July 19, 2024

Legal Talk Texas: Graduating from the hoarding barrier

June is a prime month for celebrations, specifically weddings and graduations. For recent college and high school graduates, June signifies a noteworthy transition period as they embark on a new chapter in their lives. While some may be filled with excitement and anticipation for the future, others may experience feelings of anxiety, obstacles, and even depression.

Big transition periods can be particularly challenging for individuals who are dealing with a hoarding disorder. Characterized by a persistent difficulty in parting with possessions due to a perceived need to preserve them, hoarding disorder can begin as early as the age of 15. If left untreated, the symptoms can worsen over time. Factors such as a family history of hoarding or past traumatic events can contribute to long-term hoarding challenges.

When young adults face major life changes, such as moving out on their own or starting a new school, their symptoms can be magnified. The pressure to declutter, organize, and pack belongings can be overwhelming and even paralyzing.

While medications may not be an effective treatment for hoarding disorder, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has shown promise in helping individuals challenge and change unhelpful thought patterns and behaviors associated with hoarding. By promoting healthier coping mechanisms and decision-making skills, CBT can be a beneficial tool in managing hoarding symptoms.

For high school and college graduates grappling with hoarding disorder, seeking professional support and guidance can be valuable. Therapists, case managers, and organizers can provide personalized strategies to address hoarding symptoms now and in the future. Involving supportive friends and family in the decluttering process can also offer emotional encouragement and practical assistance.

Ultimately, the goal is for this and every June to follow to be filled with joy and contentment instead of clutter and chaos.

Courtney Carey is Director of Guardian Services at Hammerle Finley Law Firm, a boutique law firm offering services in estate planning, probate, guardianship, business law, litigation, and real estate. Contact her at (972) 436-9300. This article does not constitute as legal advice.

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