You’ve probably joked once or twice about growing old and becoming a crazy cat lady or something of the sort, but hoarding pets is a serious (and abusive) problem.
When we think of hoarders, we often think of stockpiles of useless junk that a person simply can’t live without, but some people aren’t hoarding everyday objects, but actual living things. This type of hoarding is devastating for the animals involved.
But while traditional hoarding and animal hoarding might be lumped together under the same umbrella at this point, a new study says that animal hoarding should be considered a separate mental disorder.
Obsessively hoarding objects effects just 1.5 percent of people across the globe and has often been classified as a subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
But in 2013, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) reevaluated its entries regarding OCD, making hoarding a stand-alone disorder.
Animal hoarding is listed as a subtype of hoarding according to the DSM, but researchers have recently published arguments in a journal called Psychiatry Research about why the subset should be recognized as a separate disorder.
As part of their research, the team interviewed 33 animal hoarders living in Brazil. On average, each person had 41 animals.
The average age of most animal hoarders was 60, while nearly 90 percent of them were unmarried and 76 percent were extremely poor.
While traditional hoarding sees an equal split between men and women, the study revealed that 73 percent of the animal hoarders interviewed were women.
Most of the animal hoarders mentioned that they began collecting animals after a specific traumatic event.
These differences, researchers believe, are enough to split general hoarding and animal hoarding into two separate mental illnesses.
(via IFL Science)