Diogenes Syndrome: A complete guide

This article sheds light on Diogenes Syndrome, its symptoms, causes, and possible treatment. It also looks at different therapies that may be used to reduce the symptoms of this disorder.

In addition to this, you may find a few helpful resources that may help in dealing with this disorder.

Diogenes Syndrome: A complete guide

Diogenes Syndrome is a behavioral disorder that affects older adults. Diogenes Syndrome is characterized by hoarding, squalor, and disregard for personal hygiene.

Individuals with Diogenes Syndrome may have a habit of keeping dirty objects in their houses. 

Is it a medically defined disorder? 

Diogenes Syndrome is a diagnosable behavioral disorder that affects many older adults around the world.

Although it may affect males as well, most of the patients are female. People with this disorder often have a habit of hoarding unhygienic objects.

They may have no regard for personal hygiene and may not bath or wear clean clothes for weeks on end.

Diogenes Syndrome often accompanies other mental disorders. People with this disorder tend to keep more animals than they can handle.

However, they often fail to clean up after these animals. They may also exhibit other antisocial behaviors. 

This disorder is rare. However, there is a lack of sufficient research on this disorder as it has been ignored for a long time.

Diogenes Syndrome is unique in the sense that it may occur without any specific triggers.

This disorder is also widespread amongst different populations, and it may affect you regardless of your socio-economic position in society.

Diogenes Syndrome is usually brought to light when an older person starts to act in a way that may not be suitable for their status in society.

This can cause other social problems for the individual, including social boycott as well as reduced importance in society. 

The person affected usually cannot understand why the rest of society may be against their habits.

However, they are selective in the objects they choose to hoard and the way they want to live.

The fact that it is one of the few behavioral disorder which develops during old age, many psychologists, are unsure about the causes of Diogenes Syndrome.

What causes Diogenes Syndrome? 

Diogenes Syndrome may have an apparent cause, or it may be completely out of the blue.

Half of all people diagnosed with Diogenes Syndrome have some other mental condition.

Researchers believe that in these individuals, Diogenes Syndrome can be regarded as a symptom of the mental condition that the person is already experiencing.

You may have noticed that many people who have Diogenes Syndrome seem to have memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, or some other mental condition.

However, this is usually limited to people of older age.

Researchers believe it happens as a result of the reversal of the brain’s developmental process as a result of the brain’s deterioration over time.

However, some people may appear to have no prior mental health issues.

In these cases, you may wonder exactly what the cause of Diogenes Syndrome is.

However, research has indicated that Diogenes Syndrome has its roots in the way the brain copes with stress and anxiety. 

Elderly individuals who are stressed about losing a loved one or passing away are at risk of developing this disease.

In addition to this, Diogenes Syndrome may be caused by a lack of willpower to live on.

People with Diogenes Syndrome may have feelings of insecurity, which leads to a general disregard for their appearance. 

Diogenes Syndrome: A complete guide

Symptoms of Diogenes Syndrome

The symptoms of Diogenes Syndrome are often behavioral and social.

Many of these symptoms may be present in individuals after they develop the disorder.

This is why you may notice a sudden change in the personality of someone affected by this disorder. Symptoms of Diogenes Syndrome include: 

  • Disregard for personal hygiene- This is one of the first signs of Diogenes Syndrome. Many people with this condition often begin to neglect themselves. However, this behavior also has a mental component to it. The affected individuals believe that there is nothing wrong with engaging in such behavior. In other words, Diogenes Syndrome causes one to lose a sense of social norms. 
  • Hoarding- another major symptom of Diogenes Syndrome is that the affected individual may collect and store water items. This could range from old clothes to actual trash. They are usually very defensive of these items and may react negatively if you attempt to throw any of these items away. 
  • Social mistrust- They may show signs of mistrust of different individuals, especially when you advise them on improving their habits. This is usually connected with the tendency to ‘guard’ the things they hoard. 
  • Disregard for personal health- While disregard for hygiene may lead to illnesses, patients with Diogenes Syndrome often show a lack of appetite or they may eat unclean foods. This may cause additional health risks. 
  • Lack of self-awareness- Many of the individuals affected by Diogenes Syndrome seem to show a lack of worry about what others might think of their condition. They may not feel embarrassed in public, even though they have extremely poor hygiene. 
  • They may develop a habit of living with animals. This is not the typical house pet that is in question. People with Diogenes Syndrome may not have any issues living with dirty animals such as rats and insects. 
Diogenes Syndrome: A complete guide

These symptoms are usually on end. While you may know many people who may not be excellent examples of good hygiene, these individuals live in an excessively dirty environment.

In addition to this, a significant difference between an individual with Diogenes Syndrome and a normal ‘dirty’ person is that they have a lack of shame or regret surrounding their condition. 

Treatment for people with Diogenes Syndrome

Psychologists find it difficult to treat people affected by Diogenes Syndrome.

Many of these people elderly individuals who may generally resist treatment.

In addition to this, one of the symptoms of this condition is that the person may be suspicious of those who offer advice.

Therefore, you may find it difficult to give therapy or other treatment to such individuals. 

However, there are many ways in which Diogenes Syndrome can be treated.

In some cases, treatment is used to reduce the symptoms and prevent the patient from putting their health at risk. 

In most of the cases, a behavioral therapist will be assigned to help a patient correct their behavior.

They may do so by providing the patient with specific games or activities that indirectly refer to their hoarding behavior.

The goal is to reignite the feelings of shame and social awareness in the patient.

This often helps in improving the patient’s self-accountability. 

In addition to therapy, many patients are also treated for stress-related disorders.

This can include medication or other methods used to relieve stress in a patient.

Once the underlying cause is identified, it becomes easier to manage the disease. 

Caring for patients with Diogenes Syndrome

Caring for such patients is often the most difficult aspect of this condition. Patients may resist any efforts that you make to care for them.

However, they may be living in a condition that is harmful to their health. In such cases, you may consider helping them involuntarily. 

Caring for such patients usually means staying with them part-time or appointing a full-time caretaker.

This could be difficult and requires a lot of patience.

Another strategy to use is to clean up their house while they are not aware of it. 

In extreme cases, you may want to apply for permission to shift them to a treatment facility.

They may return to their homes once the treatment is over. In treatment facilities, patients can be monitored 24/7.

They are always under the supervision of a qualified professional who may track their progress. 

Diogenes Syndrome: A complete guide

Some resources that may help

  1. For a natural and effective way to treat Diogenes syndrome, you should consider keeping “Reversing Diogenes Syndrome: As God Intended The Raw Vegan Plant-Based Detoxification & Regeneration Workbook for Healing Patients” with you. Not only does it provide a complete guide on how to manage this disorder, but most of the methods prescribed also have absolutely no side effects. 
  1. In addition to this, you may want to consider reading how the term came into being. Diogenes syndrome has its roots in a famous historical event. Find out how it got its name in “Diogenes The Cynic: The War Against The World.” 
  1. If you are looking for motivation on how Diogenes Syndrome can be cured, you should consider reading “Reversing Diogenes Syndrome: Success Stories Part 2 The Raw Vegan Plant-Based Detoxification & Regeneration Workbook for Healing Patients”. This book shows the reality behind Diogenes Syndrome and gives you the motivation to continue with treatment. 
  1. If you are the caretaker of someone with Diogenes Syndrome, you may find it hard to convince them not to hoard things. However, you can manage how they arrange their house in terms of orderliness. These Large Storage Baskets from Amazon will help you manage their belongings in a more orderly manner.  
  2. Self-Neglect and Hoarding is another helpful resource for people suffering from diogenes syndrome. 

Conclusion

Living with individuals who have Diogenes Syndrome is complicated.

Diogenes Syndrome is a behavioral condition that may cause older people to disregard personal hygiene and hoard household items excessively.

This condition may pose risks to their wellbeing and health.

It can be cured through therapy and proper care of the patient. 

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

FAQs 

Is collecting a form of OCD?

Collecting is a behavioral disorder that is linked to OCD.

Patients develop habits that are strongly tied to their beliefs. 

What causes squalor?

Squalor is caused by a reaction in the thinking pattern of people that causes them to disregard social norms.

It develops by stress, a carefree attitude, and low self-esteem. 

What is the mental illness behind hoarding?

Diogenes Syndrome is a mental illness that causes hoarding in people.

Many patients develop symptoms that are such as excessive hoarding and mistrust of others.

Is being a hoarder hereditary?

There is no reliable research that proves the link between hoarding and heredity.

Most people affected by this disorder, only get it in old age.

Therefore, there is no evidence to suggest that this disorder is passed on. 

Does hoarding get worse with age?

Hoarding seems to affect older people more than it affects younger adults.

Most people only start developing this disorder during old age.

Children are rarely affected by this disorder. 

Are hoarders lazy?

While many people mistake hoarders for being lazy, their messy lives are caused by a mental disorder.

This has no link to whether they are lazy or not.

Many hoarders are active and would resist efforts to clean up.

References

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