The outbreak of COVID-19 has brought forth an unparalleled era of uncertainty and anxiety. While almost everyone struggles to adapt and cope with this new normal, it is essential to recognize the unique challenges faced by individuals with hoarding disorder. This blog post aims to shed light on the specific ways in which COVID-19 has impacted individuals with hoarding disorder and explore some strategies to help them navigate after these challenging times.

Increased Anxiety and Isolation

Hoarding disorder is often driven by anxiety, and the pandemic magnified these anxiety levels for those affected. The fear of scarcity and limited

The Isolation Struggle: How COVID-19 Has Impacted Individuals with Hoarding Disorder
access to supplies due to lockdown measures may intensify hoarding behaviours, creating a vicious cycle of anxiety and hoarding. Moreover, the necessary isolation measures introduced to slow the spread of the virus further aggravate feelings of loneliness and isolation among individuals struggling with hoarding.

Disrupted Routines and Therapeutic Support

For individuals with hoarding disorder, established routines and therapeutic support systems are vital for managing their condition effectively. Unfortunately, the disruption caused by COVID-19 has significantly impacted these routines and access to support. Closure of mental health centers and limitations on in-person therapy have forced individuals with hoarding disorder to navigate their struggles without their usual support system. This lack of professional intervention and structured routines may exacerbate their symptoms and hinder progress.

Heightened Health Concerns

In addition to the typical anxieties associated with hoarding disorder, COVID-19 has introduced new health concerns. Individuals with hoarding disorder may experience heightened fear and anxiety surrounding cleanliness and the potential risks of viral transmission. This fear can make it difficult for them to discard items or engage in regular cleaning routines, further perpetuating their hoarding behaviors.

Increased Financial and Practical Challenges

The economic fallout resulting from the pandemic has significantly impacted people’s financial situations. Hoarding disorder often leads to financial strain due to excessive purchasing and the inability to let go of items, further complicating matters for individuals during this uncertain time. Limited financial resources could impede their ability to obtain necessary supplies and support, amplifying existing difficulties.

Supporting Individuals with Hoarding Disorder during COVID-19

Establish remote therapy options:

Mental health professionals should adapt to provide remote therapy options like teletherapy to ensure continued support for individuals struggling with hoarding disorder.Virtual

Support networks:

Encouraging participation in virtual support groups and online communities can help individuals connect with others who understand their struggles and can provide empathy and guidance.

Promote self-care practices:

Encouraging healthy routines such as regular exercise, mindfulness, and relaxation techniques can offer individuals a sense of control and help alleviate anxiety.

Resource guides and helplines:

Creating easily accessible resource guides and helplines can direct individuals to appropriate resources for financial aid, waste disposal services, and donations in their community.


The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unique challenges for individuals with hoarding disorder. The combination of increased anxiety levels, disrupted routines, and limited access to support has made it particularly difficult for them to navigate through these uncertain times. Recognizing and addressing the specific needs of this vulnerable population is vital to ensuring their mental well-being during and beyond the pandemic. By implementing strategies that promote remote therapy, virtual support networks, self-care practices, and accessible resources, we can offer much-needed support and understanding to those grappling with hoarding disorder.

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