Hoarding and other disorders – are they rooted in the mind or the market? And what does this tell us about mental illness?

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. TC says:

    This is an interesting thought that I believe contains a lot of truth in it. Our society definitely has a significant impact on people’s aspirations, which thus affects the way one behaves. Similar to hoarding and compulsive buying are eating disorders, which has become a fairly recent diagnosis. These disorders seem to surface because of shifting societal values. It was only until the desired body image was skinny or skinnier that eating disorders arose. The pressure to conform to an ideal creates much anxiety and has caused people to go to drastic lengths in pursuit of obtaining what society deems to be the best. It’s not enough that we feel the need to live our lives and conform to society’s supreme model, but we are constantly reminded of it through advertisements that tell you to buy this product, or images that tell you to look and dress a certain way. It’s no wonder that a plethora of new disorders are arising that never seemed to have existed before. While there are probably some psychological mechanisms at work that cause these disorders, I think a larger part of this problem stems from our societal values that impose specific beliefs on people. This may cause some to act in extreme ways that may be seen as deviant from societal norms and thus be labeled as new mental disorders or illnesses.

  2. desa0122 says:

    I definitely agree with the author’s point here that in a consumerist society, such as the one found in America, hoarding is almost inevitable. I can say with absolute certainty that everyone has a friend that will regularly go out to a mall or a department store with a group of friends, especially when the group is under the age of 25, and buy nonessential items. I have spoken to a few of my own friends who do this and the common theme among the people that act this way is that someone else did it first so they felt they had to join in. It was not so much that they felt pressured into buying it by their peers, but I believe it was more of a societal pressure stemming from being in a store where nearly everyone is purchasing something. I have also fallen victim to this; just a month or two ago I went out to a mall and purchased a shirt that I did not need, simply because it was on sale and that I felt as though “I may need it one day.” I think a large portion of hoarding clothing comes from this security, for both guys and girls. When looks and first impressions are such a pivotal aspect of society now, it is increasingly important to have a wardrobe that is versatile enough for any situation. So even though I bought a shirt that I may never end up wearing, just knowing that I have a shirt in that color is enough security for me because if I ever *do* need it, it is there for me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *