The Link Between Clutter and Depression?
No formal studies have been done on the link between clutter and depression, but when I look at the symptoms of depression–this list from the National Institute of Mental Health–I see direct cause and affect relationships. Here are depression symptoms, followed be clutter effects.
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions: Causes difficulty in sorting, organizing and prioritizing.
• Fatigue and decreased energy: Maintaining order takes energy, it’s as simple as that.
• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness: Hard to find the desire or wherewithal to conquer a mess when feeling helpless.
• Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping: Again, maintaining order takes energy.
• Irritability, restlessness: It’s nearly impossible to tackle a tedious sorting project when irritable and restless.
• Overeating or appetite loss: Both weight gain or hunger-induced lethargy are not conducive to cleaning.
• Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment: Pain makes you want to lay down, not sit at a desk and go through a mountain of paper.
• Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings: The bottom line, it takes enthusiasm and determination to battle clutter.
I’m not suggesting that clutter be officially added to the list of symptoms for depression (I also understand that there is a broad range of types of depression)–but looking at the ways in which symptoms of depression can impact the potential to clutter, I don’t know how people suffering from depression can avoid disorganization.