What Everyone Should Know About Hoarding Disorder

Hoarding was only recently qualified as a separate behavioural disorder. There has also been an increase in people’s awareness about it. That is mostly because of the TV shows that show hoarders and how they live. But there is still a long way to go when it comes to increasing the awareness concerning hoarding. Unfortunately, some people fail to understand that hoarding is a problem and a real cause of concern. If you know someone suffering from hoarding and you would like to help them out then you should educate yourself first. You would not be able to help them out if you know nothing about hoarding.

What is Hoarding Disorder?

The first thing that you ought to learn is what hoarding disorder is. There is no way that you can take proper actions on how to help the person that you know without having a clear idea on what hoarding really is. A person suffering from hoarding disorder accumulates things that to others would seem valueless. They also have difficulty in throwing away items even if those things have no value at all. This results in accumulation of objects that would soon clutter the home of the hoarder. This clutter would make it hard for that person to lead normal lives.

Don’t confuse hoarding with collecting. A collector looks for specific things to get and gather them. A hoarder, on the other hand, would pick up random objects that would have no value to others. Another important difference is that hoarders keep their objects in special places where they will not be damaged, while hoarders are just content to know that they own those objects.

There are various reasons why hoarders accumulate things, for some the cause for their behaviour is actually unclear. Some feel valuable when they see the things that they have saved. There are those who hate to part with things that have some sentimental value to them. The only problem is that they see some sentimental value to almost everything. Still others save things because they feel that they can use them in the future.

This kind of disorder can affect 2%-5% of the population. When you think about it, there are many hoarders out there though they might not be aware of it. It can cause a great deal of distress, especially to family members, and disrupt lives.

Consequences and Effects of Hoarding Disorder

Hoarding can have some very serious consequences to the person’s life. That would include damaging social, occupational and personal aspects of the life of a person suffering from hoarding disorder. The person suffering from the disorder would not be the only one to suffer from it but if he/ she has a family then they would be seriously affected by it. They do not have to live in the same house as the hoarder. It would be enough for them to see or know the condition of their loved one to be troubled by his/her condition.

Hoarding can be a health and a fire hazard. Most of the time, there is no order in the way that the hoarder would keep things. Some of the items that are hoarded can be fire and health hazards. A house that is full of hoarded items can burn up easily and it would be very hard for fire-fighters to enter. Items that can decompose and rot would also present a hazard not to mention mold that can also grow on the hoarded items.

Diagnosing Hoarding Disorder

When you know what hoarding disorder is and what its effects are, the next thing that you have to learn would be identifying the probable signs of hoarding disorder. Only an expert can really diagnose if a person is a hoarder or not. There are other mental disorders that can cause symptoms that are similar to hoarding and that is one of the things that they would work on.

A series of questions can help in determining whether a person is suffering from hoarding disorder or not. Do they have trouble discarding things? Is the amount of stuff in their home causing problems for them when it comes to moving around? Is their behaviour causing problems with personal relationships and with work? Are the symptoms causing any distress?

Most people who suffer from hoarding disorder would have certain characteristics. They can be perfectionists, irritable, disorganized and indecisive. Those qualities could generally make their condition even worse.

Causes of Hoarding

Hoarding was recently classified as a separate disorder. That fact means that there is still very little research that has been done in order to explore the causes of hoarding disorder. But researchers have managed to identify a few risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing this sort of disorder. There are some indications that hoarding, like other disorders, can be hereditary. Researchers have identified some genes that can actually cause hoarding. A person with a hoarder in the family is more likely to develop the same disorder.

People who suffer from other psychological problems are also likely to develop hoarding disorder. An event that causes a great deal of stress, such as the death of a loved one, can trigger hoarding disorder in a person. Contrary to what most people believe, the symptoms of hoarding disorder can manifest at a very early age. Normally it starts showing in the early teen years.

Dealing with Hoarding Disorder

People with hoarding disorder have different levels of insight when it comes to their condition. Some would admit that they do have a problem and that they need help in order to get better. To others however, there is nothing wrong with their condition and they would resist all attempts for them to get better, no matter how well-meaning others are. They would see it as an intrusion into their lives especially if someone would try to clean up their hoard. You have to be very careful when trying to help someone with hoarding disorder, especially if he/she is the type who would not acknowledge that there is a problem.

Never try to clean the home of someone suffering from hoarding disorder without his/her knowledge or permission. That would only make things worse. That would clean up the area temporarily but it would not resolve the root cause of the problem. It would only have a negative effect in the long term because they would feel that you are against them and they would be against anything that you do in order to help and cure them.

In helping someone with hoarding disorder, the most important step is to make them realize that there is a problem. Unless that happens, all the other steps that you take would be pointless and useless. They would have to be the one to take that step and accept that they are facing some issues and those issues would have to be addressed. You should approach them and tell the person suffering from the disorder what his/her problem is. If you can do it with other family members then that would be better. That might convince the person about the seriousness of the problem.

How to Keep Your Home Secure

There is no point in discussing whether home security is needed or not. Home security is essential and ensuring it is part of your responsibility. But how does one ensure home security these days? It is actually more complicated than what most people would think. The reality is that it is difficult to fully ensure that your home can be protected from a burglar who is determined to break into your house and has the right skills. But a thief is not the only security threat these days. There are others that can pose a serious threat on you and your family’s safety. So, how do you ensure that you stay safe from them?

To help you out and make your home more secure, here are a few ideas
that you can try:

Dead Bolt Lock

There are a lot of people who spend a great deal of money on elaborate and expensive home security systems. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you can afford it then buy the best when it comes to home security for your family. The problem is when you have little money to spare. Should you forget about home security then? You shouldn’t do that because there are home security options which are not so expensive that you can turn to.

A deadbolt lock is one of the best ways that you can secure an apartment. It is quite easy to install but it can provide very good security.

Get a Dog

Having a dog is not going to make your home an impenetrable fortress. What it will do however is to make it less easy for anyone with bad plans to approach it. How can you use a dog to secure your place? Just place a sign warning people about your dog. That should make anyone think twice about breaking into your home.

Have a Lived-in Look

Burglars prefer to target homes where no one is in at the moment that they work on it. Criminals would think twice about entering a home where they know people are always in. if you leave your house, then you increase the chances that someone might break in. What you should do is to have a lived-in look to your home. Make sure that there will be no signs that you are always out because that would be like a neon sign inviting burglars. If you leave your home often for long periods, do not let mail, newspaper and other things accumulate which would indicate that no one is there.

Securing Sliding Doors

Do you have sliding glass doors? It might seem like a difficult thing to secure sliding glass doors but the truth is that it is relatively easy. All you have to do is to place a baseball bat or maybe even a broom handle on the track to secure it. When something is on the track no one would be able to open it.

Outdoor Lights

One of the best ways of protecting your home and preventing thieves from entering is providing a lot of lighting on the outside. That would make it extremely difficult for anyone to break in to your place. You should place lights in strategic areas. You should have outdoor lights where your door and windows are. Those are the points of access into your home. When those areas are well-lit, thieves would not have an opportunity to break in because they always work in the dark. They would not risk working in areas that has a lot of lighting, because they would be easily seen.

Erect a Fence

It’s nice to live in an area where people don’t erect fences. But these days it is better to trouble yourself with precautionary steps than to regret that you did not. Even a small fence, that you can hop over easily, can be helpful. Even if it is not much of a physical deterrent, it still presents a psychological barrier to a thief. It marks your property and people would be less willing to step into it. That’s what a fence can do. Before you erect your fence, you have to check with your local officials so you are sure that you follow the regulations because many places would require a permit for building a fence.

Remove Hiding Spots

Burglars need hiding spots in order to gain time while waiting for the right opportunity to try to break into a house. Their favourite hiding place would be the shadow provided by trees and other plants. That does not mean you should remove all plants from your yard. But you should trim those to make sure that thieves would not have a hiding place.

Getting an Alarm

Some people feel that having a burglar alarm system installed in their home would be the end of all home security measures. Unfortunately that is not the case. Alarm systems are not a guarantee that nobody would break in to your home. They can deter some burglars, but for those who are really determined and who are skilled, alarms might not be enough.

It is also important that you pick the right sort of alarm system to get. There are many different alarm systems that are available. You must sort through all the available options, so you can pick the right one. Most experts say that the most effective part of an alarm system installed in your home is a sign that your house is protected by a particular system. It’s like the visible warning about dogs. It makes people think twice.

Be Watchful and Vigilant

No matter how much you spend on your home security, the most effective way of securing it would be watchful and vigilant. When you have strangers and workmen inside your place, keep an eye on them to see if they only do their jobs. Many burglars get the information about the house that they are targeting by pretending to be a workmen to gain access inside. You should also do a regular nightly check of your place. Check all the doors and windows and make sure that they are closed and locked properly.

Don’t Leave a Spare Key

Where do you leave your spare key? Burglars normally check doormats and flowerpots which are the most likely places that they check for spare keys. In other words the common places where people leave their spare keys are the areas that burglars target. Do not make it easy for criminals to break into your home. The best thing for you to do is to leave a spare key to a neighbour, so in case you need it you can just get it from them. Make sure that security information about your home should be accessible to you and your family only. Tell your children that they should not be sharing security information like location of keys and alarm codes with their friends. As always, it is always better for you to take precautionary measures to be safe.

These are the things you can do to secure your home.

What You Should Know About Tea

From the Orient to the living rooms of England, tea is one of the most enjoyed beverages. This drink has a long history that goes way back. If you are interested in tea drinking then you might be interested in knowing more about it. We have gathered some of the important things that you ought to know about it.

What is tea in the first place?

Tea is a drink that is made from soaking the leaves, buds and even twigs of the plant Camellia sinensis or the tea plant. The soaking in hot water can last anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes. The leaves and buds of the tea plant would have to go a certain process before it can be ready for steeping and be used for preparing drinks. The leaves would have to undergo a fermentation process.

The length of the fermentation process that the leaves have undergone would determine the color of the resulting tea. White tea for example is the variety that has undergone the least amount of fermentation. What is known as black tea is the kind that has fermented the most.

The tea leaves are harvested and then they are made to undergo fermentation. The fermentation process can be stopped by heating. The heat stops the fermentation process. During that process flavors and spices can be added in order to further enhancement of the tea taste.

The Camellia sinensis plant has two varieties. These are the var. assamica and the var. sinensis. When westerners first came across the tea plant in China, they called it “sinensis.” In Latin, this means “from China“. They assumed that the tea plant could only be found in China, but they soon realized that it was not really the case. It was soon found that there was another variety that can be found in the Indian region known as Assam. It is now widely accepted that the drinking tea originated in the area where India, China and Burma intersects. The modern cultivated tea plants are pruned for easy harvesting. But if left uncultivated these plants can grow very tall. The assamica variety for example can reach a height exceeding 60 feet.

A Brief History of Tea

Legend says that it was a Chinese emperor who discovered tea as a beverage. It is said that he accidently discovered the use of tea for beverage when some leaves fell on a pot of boiling water. It was noted by ancient Chinese authors that tea has a bitter flavour but it was highly valued because of the calming effect that it has on the drinker.

The legend about the Chinese emperor being the first one to discover tea is a bit farfetched. It is not really clear in historical terms as to who actually were the first users of tea. What is clear is that its use spread from China into other countries. Japan, for example, is one of the best examples of a country that was heavily influenced by Chinese tea usage. The present Japanese tea ceremony came directly from Chinese influence.

Among the Europeans, it was probably the Portuguese who first came into contact with Chinese tea. This contact probably happened in their trading post in Macau. But since Portugal had little influence on the rest of Europe at the time, it did not become popular. It was up to the Dutch who brought back tea to Amsterdam to make tea drinking popular among the Europeans.

The British picked up tea drinking from the Dutch. The upper classes were fascinated with the drink that soon they have the powerful British East India Company trading directly with the Chinese for the valuable product. Soon they were not satisfied with trading only and they wanted to grow it on their own. So, they stole the secrets of tea growing from China and they started growing it in their Indian possessions.

Tea Production and Tea Consumption

Today it isn’t surprising that the two largest producers of tea in the world are China and India. Combined, these two countries produce more than half of the world’s tea production. Kenya and Sri Lanka are also two major tea producers. When it comes to consumption, the United Arab Emirates is the largest consumer of tea per capita. It might surprise you to learn that Britain would only come in sixth place when it comes to tea consumption.

The Different Types of Tea

It has been mentioned before that there are different types of tea that are currently available. These types come from the way that the tea leaves are prepared and for how long they undergo fermentation.

White Tea

In this type of tea, only the first two leaves are harvested together with the buds for use. White tea is not oxidized at all. It only undergoes a very light processing. This kind of tea is mainly produced in mainland China today.

Green Tea

This kind of tea undergoes very little oxidation. This type of tea has become very popular in the West. It is produced in China and Japan.

Yellow Tea

Yellow tea is a lot similar to green tea and it undergoes very little if any oxidation. The main difference is that it undergoes the yellowing process, hence the name.

Oolong Tea

This kind of tea is mainly produced in Taiwan and in the Fujian region of mainland China. The leaves are rolled for this kind of tea. The leaves are subjected to different types of infusion which gives the leaves a different flavour profile.

Black Tea

Black tea is a kind of tea that has undergone 100% oxidization. This kind of tea is actually very popular in the West. In China, it is actually known as red tea because of the color of the resulting beverage. This kind of tea actually goes very well with sugar and milk.

Post Fermented

In China, this is what they refer to as black tea. The process for creating this sort of tea is rather long. Modern methods however has speed it up, though compared with other tea types it still takes longer.

Tea Bags and Loose Tea

Most people are familiar with tea bags as the means of preparing tea. But there is another method of creating the beverage and that is through the use of loose tea. Tea experts actually consider the tea found in tea bags to be of poorer quality for most of the time. There is actually some basis to the belief that tea in tea bags is of poorer quality. Most of the time, those are just left-overs from the tea that have been sorted. In fact they think this kind of tea is dust. If you are looking to taste the best tea, then you should get loose tea instead. That means you will get the best.

The way that you prepare and brew your tea would largely determine the quality of the drink that you are going to get. The different types of tea that we have mentioned would require different means of preparation and lengths of time for brewing. If you want to get the most out of your tea, then you should know the best way of brewing it.