Addiction does not always involve drugs and alcohol. Some people become addicted to activities or rituals, and much like a drug addict, they can’t stop. These kinds of addictions are called process addictions. Someone with a process addiction is psychologically addicted to an activity. Much like a drug takes hold of the mind and controls the person’s life, process addictions take over a person’s life and keep them from doing their normal daily activities.
One form of process addiction is hoarding. People can hoard anything imaginable, from clothing to food to animals. Many tragic stories have made the news in recent years of individuals hoarding hundreds of animals in their home because they are unable to stop themselves
Individuals who hoard animals almost always do so with the best intentions in mind. They may feel pity for a lost or abandoned animal and take it into their home. Over time, someone with this kind of process addiction will acquire more and more animals, until they are unable to provide for the animals the way they should. They don’t realize how detrimental their addiction is to the animals that they bring in to their house without a way to properly care for them.
However, the animals are the ones that suffer along with the hoarder, because hoarded animals usually end up malnourished or sick. The animals easily spread disease to each other when living in such close quarters, and veterinary care is usually not sought by a hoarder. A hoarder will usually believe they are helping the animals, even though many are sick and some die.
Helping Hoarders and their Animals
Animal hoarding is a mental illness and someone suffering with it usually needs professional help to recover. However, this kind of addiction doesn’t have many symptoms. It takes the concern and action of close friends or family members to step up and either convince the person to get help, or report them to the authorities. The local humane society and police department should be contacted to report possible cases of animal hoarding. With the right kind of help, this addiction can be overcome. Call Addiction Treatment Services to get more information on process addictions.