I en nyligen publicerad artikel (”Hoarding versus collecting: Where does pathology diverge from play?”) av Ashley E. Nordsletten och David Mataix-Cols i Clinical Psychology Review har man tittat på skillnaden mellan normala och sjukliga samlare. De sammanfattar skillnaderna i tabellen nedan.

Feature Collecting (Friskt) Hoarding (Patologiskt)
Onset and course Childhood onset;
Intermittent course; decreases with each decade of life
Childhood onset;
Chronic course; increases with each decade of life
Prevalence ~ 70% of children; ~ 30% of adults; ~ 15% of older adults 2–5% of adults
Meaning of objects Symbolic and sentimental;
Instrumental value of secondary concern
Utilitarian and sentimental;
Instrumental value of primary concern
Source of value Individual and interrelated;
Objects individually valued, however object’s value also influenced by its relationship with other collected items.
Each object is valued independently from other hoarded items.
Object content Very focused;
Objects bound by a cohesive theme; few different categories of objects
Less focused;
Objects lack a cohesive theme; large number of different categories of objects
Use of objects Common;
30% of collectors actively use their collected items. Likely that the majority of collectors regularly use their non-collected items
Objects are often acquired with the intention of use, however, studies show hoarders rarely use their items
Acquisition process Multiple stages, including planning, hunting and organized display of objects post-acquisition Planning and organized display not present
Excessive acquisition Objects actively acquired in a purposeful and goal-driven manner; excessive acquisition possible Objects actively and passively acquired; excessive acquisition present in the majority (~ 75%)
Reason for accumulation Hobby/leisure, set completion
Public identity
Control, safety,
Personal Identity
Level of organization High;
Rooms functional and collected items confined to restricted area
The functionality of rooms is compromised by disorganized clutter
Distress Not present in majority;
Typically not the product of clutter
Present in the majority;
Clutter is a key factor
Social impairment Minimal;
Collectors show marriage rates in line with national norms and frequently integrate their collecting behavior and social lives
Hoarding is associated with reduced rates of marriage, increased rates of relationship conflict and, in some cases, social withdrawal