How space affects function

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How space affects function

With regard to OCD and BDD, behaviors certainly affect family members emotionally and at times, physically or practically, however, the effect is generally indirect. In other words, family members of most OCD spectrum disorders may be able to avoid the symptoms of the disorder.

For example, if a young girl is a compulsive hand washer, due to contamination, and spends much time in a specific bathroom, her parents and siblings are able to use the other bathrooms in the home with no difficulty or impact, besides experiencing inconvenience.

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With regard to compulsive hoarding, often times, all of the bathrooms in the home may be non-functioning or so cluttered, that it is impossible to reach the shower, toilet or sink.

As a consequence, hygiene may become a problem. In addition, malfunctioning of utilities in the home is often unaddressed due to shame that a hoarder may feel when having a handyman come in to fix the problem.

We will also explore the significant emotional impact that hoarding may have on the wellbeing of peripheral family members, or family members who no longer live in the home. For those family members who live with a hoarder, such as a wife, husband, child, or older dependent parent, it is impossible to live amongst clutter while avoiding the harmful physical and emotional trauma.

Hoarders often attach a sentimental, instrumental, or aesthetic value to items. Ironically, when the hoarder may need that item, they may be unable to find or access it due to the clutter. A primary area of contention is that clutter often results in a loss of once functional living space, even in communal areas e.

How Hoarding Affects Family » Children of Hoarders

Functional living space relates to furniture, appliances, countertops, etc. For example, families are frequently unable to use their kitchens to cook food and may, therefore, be dependent on ordering take-out daily. This may lead to increased financial strain and obesity, because they are spending more money and consuming more calories than they would if they were able to prepare their own meals.

Financial strain also results from compulsive acquisition associated with hoarding, and the need to acquire additional storage facilities chests, lockers, garages, sheds, etc. Often, the acquisition of this extra storage is agreed upon with the hope of regaining some functional living space.

Ironically, at the beginning these facilities are useful but if compulsive hoarding behaviors are not addressed, it is likely that functional living space will once again become over-run with yet even more clutter. Compulsive acquisition, or compulsive shopping, is also a major source or friction.

How space affects function

Not only do hoarders often claim areas within regions of the home that are reserved for other family members, but the control of how that space is used or what items should be discarded is frequently at the hoarders discretion.

They no longer have the ability to decide the fashion in which they would like to live and their power is stripped from them, leaving them feeling vulnerable and unstable.

Essentially, family members are forced to live amidst chaos.

How space affects function

Commonly, family members will get so frustrated with clutter that they will attempt to clean or organize without the consent of the hoarder, which invariably results in additional arguments and fights.

This often leads to an increase in checking behaviors e. Children of hoarders, are often unable to avoid living within the clutter, and therefore, are significantly affected, socially.

This may lead to social isolation, helplessness, and resentment. Spouses often consider divorce or separation because of the extreme impairment in functioning, and may also ruminate about responsibilities to the children that are not being met.

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The children feel torn between the parent who hoards, and the parent who does not. Children tend to be very secretive about the hoarding problem, but feel depressed and angry due to the sacrifices that they are expected to make on account of compulsive hoarding.

If the non-hoarding parent decides to ask for a divorce, a custody battle may ensue.Pearson, as an active contributor to the biology learning community, is pleased to provide free access to the Classic edition of The Biology Place to all educators and their students.

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