An estimated 2-5% of Americans struggle with compulsivehoarding: hoarding is twice as common as强迫症是双相情感障碍和精神分裂症的四倍。如果你认为你可以成为这个群体的一部分，问问自己这些问题：你是否有大量的“东西”堆积在整个房子里？即使这些东西已经没有什么用处了，也很难把它们扔掉或送人吗？在你周围堆积如山的情况下，你是否仍有接受那些你并不真正需要的东西的冲动？如果你对这些问题的回答是肯定的，那么你可能正在与强迫性囤积作斗争。
Is a Creative Mind a Possible Cause For Hoarding Behavior?
Thomas Edison once admitted, "To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk." It's a provocative statement, one that makes one wonder––could individuals who hoard be motivated to collect big piles of junk to support their creative natures? Could they be stockpiling objects because they can see many uses for them––uses that the average person cannot see? Could individuals who hoard have higher levels of creative thinking than the average person?
A link between hoarding behavior and increased creativity could have important implications for people who suffer from compulsive hoarding. Identifying a positive aspect of hoarding could help these individuals to see themselves in a more positive light, potentially alleviating some of the emotional distress and stigma associated with hoarding.
Interested in this possible link between creativity and hoarding, my colleague and I took a closer, more empirical look at the potential correlation.1To test the idea, we recruited a sample of people who willingly self-identified as "packrats," as well as a group who reported no difficulty discarding items, disliked clutter, or considered themselves to be "minimalists." We then assessed hoarding tendencies in all participants, using a scale that measured tendencies to save items and accumulate clutter (e.g., How difficult do you find the task of throwing things away?).
- 发散性思维任务：人们对普通物体（如砖块）或物体的用途的想象程度thinking of as许多白色食物尽可能e.
Hoarding Impulses Come More From Emotion Than Creativity
The results of our study showed that those who were inclined to hoard were more bothered by negative emotions, and had greater difficulty coping with negative feelings when they were upset. These factors no doubt contribute to the high percentages of depression and anxiety in those afflicted by compulsive hoarding behaviors.
There were four ways in which the two groups (self-identified "packrats" and those who had no problems discarding items) differed. Our results showed that people who scored higher on the hoarding tendencies scale:
- Had higher levels of neuroticism
- Were less conscientious—a personality trait characterized by neatness, order, and self-discipline
- Possessed higher levels of impulsivity
Although finding a link between hoarding behavior and creativity might have helped reduce some of the stigma associated with hoarding disorder, we found no support for the idea that hoarding is associated with higher levels of creativity. We did, however, find evidence to support a link between hoarding tendencies and high levels of neuroticism and impulsivity, as well as low levels of conscientiousness and distress tolerance. These personal characteristics may be factors contributing to the development of hoarding difficulties, and therefore should be a major focus of attention in the treatment of hoarding disorder.
Date of original publication:July 02, 2015
Updated: October 23, 2015