Background: Previously described as a subcategory of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), hoarding disorder was added to the fifth Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) as a stand-alone diagnosis for the first time. The first formal research in the 1990s surprisingly found no connection between material deprivation early in life and hoarding; however, later studies linked early traumatic life experiences with hoarding. Subsequent familial studies demonstrated a genetic predisposition for hoarding. Emerging evidence suggests a link between a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and hoarding in Jewish Holocaust survivors.
Objectives: To evaluate the literature on PTSD among Jewish Holocaust survivors for associations between PTSD and hoarding.
Methods: A systematic search of selected databases, including PubMed, Google Scholar, NCBI, Psych Info, and EBSCO Host was conducted from 1 March 2017 to 15 July 2018 using the following search terms: hoarding, hoarding disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, OCD, compulsive hoarding, Jewish Holocaust survivors, Shoa, post-traumatic stress disorder, and PTSD. Inclusion criteria included peer reviewed research published on adults in English since 1990. Because no publications linking hoarding and PTSD in Jewish Holocaust survivors were found, references in retained papers were also searched for any relevant published work.
Results: Seven articles linking PTSD and hoarding were identified for this review. However, no articles were found linking PTSD and hoarding in Jewish Holocaust survivors.
Conclusions: A relationship between PTSD and hoarding in Jewish Holocaust survivors is conceivable and should be explored to effectively diagnose and care for affected individuals.