Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Hoarding

What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

Though previously considered an anxiety disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV-TR), in the most recent DSM-V it is now in the category of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, which includes both Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Hoarding Disorder. OCD is characterized by intrusive images or thoughts (obsessions) which are unwanted, and which may prompt particular repetitive behaviors or intentional thoughts (compulsions) in order to alleviate or neutralize them. The obsessions cause significant distress to the individual and may prompt avoidance behaviors, as well. Compulsions are distinguished from typical reassurance seeking behaviors in that they tend to take up significant amounts of the individual's time and interfere with functioning in multiple areas of the individual's life. Despite an awareness of this interference, and possible awareness that the obsessions are not logical, those diagnosed with OCD may find the obsessions impossible to ignore, and the compulsions are seen as the only way to get rid of them or to remain “safe.”

Resource Organizations » OCD and Hoarding » xMilford-Mendon-Upton

In Massachusetts

Children of Hoarders: Massachusetts

COH provides helpful links to help a family member who hoards. These include links to therapists, professional organizers, cleaning companies, and applicable laws and regulations. The website also has information about hoarding support groups and family support groups.

International OCD Foundation


Mission: "Let's work together to improve the lives of everyone affected by OCD"

Based in Boston, Masschusetts, the International OCD Foundation website offers learning opportunities, a thorough resource directory providing information on therapists, clinics, treatment programs, support groups, and organizations specializing in helping kids with OCD and related disorders in your area, and a list of upcoming events to join in building awareness for kids with OCD.

International OCD Foundation Hoarding Center


Email: info@iocdf.org

The IOCDF Hoarding Center is designed to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information about hoarding and its treatment. The Center has five goals, which includes educating the general public about hoarding, Facilitating education and training of human service personnel including mental health, social services, public health and housing as well as police and fire officials, supporting research into the causes of and effective treatments for hoarding, improving access to resources for those with hoarding disorder and their families, as well as clinicians and service personnel, and advocating and lobbying for public policy change as it affects people who hoard, their families and community members.

Mass Housing Hoarding Resources

800-882-1154 (Toll-Free)


Email: rentalsupport@masshousing.com

The Mass Housing organization provides a comprehensive list of organizations and resources to help address hoarding. This website includes information about hoarding, how to assess it, best practices in trying to help someone struggling with hoarding, and local resources both for the person who is hoarding as well as family members who are being impacted.

Massachusetts Department of Mental Health


TTY: 617-727-9842

The Department of Mental Health, as the State Mental Health Authority, assures and provides access to services and supports to meet the mental health needs of individuals of all ages, enabling them to live, work and participate in their communities. This critical mission is accomplished by working in partnership with other state agencies, individuals, families, providers and communities.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness - Veteran and Service Member Resources


Toll Free: 800-370-9085 (M-F 9am-5pm)

Fax: 617-580-8673

Email: info@namimass.org

The National Alliance on Mental Illness maintains a helpline for information on mental illnesses and referrals to local groups. The local self-help groups have support and advocacy components and offer education and information about community services for diverse communities comprising of LGBTQ individuals, veterans, active duty military members, teens, young adults, older adults and families. Local chapters can be found through the main website. For information about the Alliance's affiliates and activities in MA, contact NAMI Massachusetts.

Outside Massachusetts

Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)


Email: information@adaa.org

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) - formerly The Anxiety Disorders Association of America - is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the prevention, treatment and cure of anxiety disorders and to improve the lives of all people who suffer from them. ADAA is dedicated to informing the public, health care professionals, and media that anxiety disorders are real, serious, and treatable. ADAA promotes professional and public awareness of anxiety and related disorders (such as PTSD, OCD, panic disorder, social anxiety) and their impact on people's lives. The organization also links people who need treatment with the health care professionals who provide it. The ADAA website also provides listings of anxiety disorder support groups offered across the United States.


(604) 620-0744

AnxietyBC contains a wealth of information to help people learn about and practice effective strategies to manage anxiety on their own, at their own pace. All content is grounded in scientific research and developed by professionals who specialize in helping people with anxiety.

Children of Hoarders: National

Children of Hoarders, Inc is a not-for profit organization made up of volunteer Children of Hoarders (COH), dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of the unique challenges facing children of hoarders while helping them to support themselves and each other. COH, Inc provides extensive resources on what hoarding looks like, various types, suggestions and available support for not only children worried about family members hoarding but also spouses or other loved ones. The website also provides opportunities to connect with others impacted by hoarding through online groups and forums.

Mental Health America

Toll-Free: 800-969-6642

Office: 703-684-7722

TTY: 800-433-5959

Mental Health America (formerly known as the National Mental Health Association) is the country's leading nonprofit dedicated to helping ALL people live mentally healthier lives. With more than 320 affiliates nationwide, they represent a growing movement of Americans who promote mental wellness for the health and well-being of the nation -- everyday and in times of crisis.

The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

Main Line: 646-681-4888

Toll Free: 800-829-8289

Email: info@bbrfoundation.org

The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (formerly NARSAD, the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression) is committed to alleviating the suffering of mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research. The BBR Foundation offers news on the research it funds as well as information (documents and videos) about these and other disorders in children and adults. It also provides guidance and resources for families coping with a child or parent with mental illness.

Worry Wise Kids

This site was launched because of the urgent need to address the growing needs of our children to be equipped to cope with and overcome the stress, worry and anxieties in their life. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for anxious children and their families by providing parents, educators and mental health professionals with comprehensive, user-friendly information on the full range of anxiety disorders. Because children may be secretive about their worries and suffer in silence, our goal is to help adults who care about kids to be on the lookout for red flags. We offer information about treatment options, kid-friendly explanations for the mechanisms that create and maintain anxiety, parenting do's and don'ts, how to handle school issues and more.