Doctoral student researcher, Jennifer Krafft at Utah State University’s Online Psychiatrist has confirmed that they are undergoing research to find how to help those with hoarding disorder, through the use of a self-help website. She added that said the group of researchers started taking participants in February this year. They will continue accepting participants until they wrap up in the autumn season.
Kraft further explained that participation in the research is available to those living in the U.S that has or shows symptoms of hoarding disorder.
According to her, hoarding disorder is rigid ways people think about belongings and worrying that throwing things away will be a waste or something done by a mistake. Also, she said persons up to 1.5% meet the criteria for this disorder.
Speaking on the effect, she said those suffering from the disorder have an unhealthy life. This in turn affects their entire well-being. ECS – Estate Cleanout Services of Miami works directly with junk pick up services of the people in the area that are suffering from this disorder.
Although this problem is common amongst people, they are yet to know a lot about how to help those suffering from the disorder.
This study was set up for the aim of finding a temporary method for those with the problem have a healthier and more meaningful life. The method, although short-term will be an efficient one in the treatment of the problem.
Kraft went further to explain that the treatment of hoarding disorder on a regular basis can take about 5 months, however, with this self-help website, it will only take two months.
Some of the features of the website are successive teachings on psychological skills such as acceptance of emotions, mindfulness, how to accept personal emotions, and connect with personal values. All of which are aimed at helping those with hoarding disorder overcome barriers.
Although psychological mastery of mindfulness is good and works well in improving mental health, Kraft said it has not been proven to work for those with hoarding disorder, and this study is a way to test these sets of skills whether they can work particularly for those with hoarding disorders.
According to her, when people use the website for eight weeks and it works for them, then they will look for how to get help to those that cannot access it.
Another researcher, a Ph.D. holder, Michael Levin., who is a leader of the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Group, revealed the name of the new program as ‘Making Space’. He said it’s an upgrade of another website that they used in autumn 2019.
Still speaking on the importance of the website, Levin explained that it’ll take people with hoarding disorder through the process of learning new ways to deal with what they think and feel such as those that have to do with their belongings.
He also said that the website will help people let go of unhelpful struggles with their thoughts and feelings and that it’ll also teach them how to face difficult emotions.
He however hoped that people will utilize the website for therapy at the speed that works for them. They are also free to use it at their own convenient time anywhere.
Levin said if the program is useful as expected, it’ll remain open to the public, and will form one of the group’s self-help programs. The group also sees it as a way of helping people care for their mental wellness after all the struggles that the pandemic has brought.
Still speaking on the group’s intentions, Kraft said that there exists stigmatization of those with this problem, so the group hopes to help those with the disorder to overcome this shame.
According to her, this stigmatization is as a result of how hoarding disorder is painted on TV shows, and that it’s often over-exaggerated. She added that The portrayal makes it difficult and embarrassing for those with the problem to accept that they have the disorder without any form of self-judgment, thereby preventing them from getting the necessary help.