Syllogomania: the causes

The most severe cases of syllogomania (Diogenes syndrome) are related to neurological (frontal dementia or other cerebral affection) or psychiatric ( schizophrenia , paranoia , chronic hallucinatory psychosis , melancholy) causes .

The age of the individual and the associated symptoms may support one or both of these causes. An evaluation by the general practitioner or the treating psychiatrist, as part of a home visit, associated with para-clinical examinations (imaging, biology) will be able to conclude the diagnosis.

The syllogomania may be associated with other psychiatric disorders without any causal link. However, the underlying causes may be common. Here are the ones we find most often:

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (or OCD)

This association is very common. So much so that the syllogomania was previously considered a symptom of OCD. Since the advent of the DSM-5, these two pathologies are well differentiated but they influence one and the other. The syllogomane victim of OCD has the particularity that he accumulates the objects in an orderly, classified manner.

Anxiety- depressive disorders

Generalized anxiety, social phobia, separation anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and finally depression, can be associated with syllogomania. These different disorders have in common a feeling of emotional insecurity, described above in the context of the syllogomanie.

Behavioral addictions

Other compulsive behaviors can be found in the individual with a syllogomania:

  • trichotillomania
  • Compulsive buy
  • Dermatillomania (compulsive skin excoriation), etc.

Personality disorders

The syllogomania may be associated with a personality disorder:

  • Narcissistic
  • borderline
  • obsessively
  • Paranoid...

More precisely, impulsivity - or its inverse counterpart: procrastination - is a trait of personality frequently found in the individual suffering from syllogomania.

Attentive deficit with or without hyperactivity

A recent study (2010) has highlighted the link between Attention Deficit Disability with or without Hyperactivity (ADD / H) and Diogenes Syndrome in the elderly. The second appears as the potential evolution of the first in the case where it is insufficiently treated. The common cause of these pathologies is a hypo-activity of the frontal part of the brain.

An emotional lack

The pleasure of acquiring and the need to possess, characteristics of the syllogomania, fill an emotional void and constitute an unsuitable bulwark against anxiety.

The acquisition of the object is similar to compulsion, similar to compulsive buying, and gives the syllogoman an immediate pleasure, as reassuring as it can be intense. The object loses its primary function and is subconsciously assigned a reassurance function to which the individual attaches and fears to separate. It is therefore necessary to keep close to him his possessions to fill an inner void and strengthen this pseudo-barrier of protection against anxiety. The object will serve him, one day, for sure! Better to keep it ...

An emotional trauma, a climate of insecurity, a difficult separation or even a deficiency, sometimes going back to the earliest childhood, can constitute partial causes of the appearance of this disorder.

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Read also :

Know how to detect schizophrenia
Depression: how to cope?
Manic-depressive psychosis
Bipolar disorder
Procrastination: the "art" of postponing

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