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Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2012 Sep;33(9):591-7. doi: 10.3109/01612840.2012.704134.

Hoarding's place in the DSM-5: another symptom, or a newly listed disorder?

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  • 1University of Massachusetts Lowell, School of Health and Environment, Lowell, Massachusetts 01854-5127, USA.


Hoarding behavior, long considered a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2000), has recently garnered significant attention and has only begun to be more carefully studied and understood. Recent research reveals that hoarding is frequently comorbid with anxiety, depression, and other diagnoses, including OCD. The DSM-5 Working Group on Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum, Posttraumatic, and Dissociative Disorders is currently working to determine appropriate placement of hoarding in the DSM-5 (APA, 2010), and has tentatively proposed the term Hoarding Disorder to be used as a new and unique diagnosis. The purpose of this paper is to provide some insight into the evidence base that has prompted this change and to familiarize clinicians with research and best practices in the emerging field of diagnosing and treating hoarding behaviors.

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