Diogenes Syndrome


Diogenes syndrome is a condition characterized by a tendency to accumulate objects. These objects accumulate in the patient’s home to such an extent that they can clutter the entire house, leaving very little space for daily life (syllogomania). It is like a horror vacui (fear of emptiness), although this term is used more in art.


Accumulated objects are systematically useless, obsolete, or even damaged, and their accumulation is not justified for any logical reason.

They can even go so far as to make it difficult to move around the house, encountering obstacles, in the kitchen, bathroom and in the bed itself.

-neglect of personal and household hygiene

-denial of disorder

-self isolation

-rejection of any outside help or intervention

-Bother the neighborhood in extreme cases

-those symptoms are not necessarily all present

Diogenes syndrome is not yet classified as a disease.

Many other diagnoses also include these symptoms:

-compulsive accumulation


-Borderline personality disorder


-chronic delusional disorder


– other causes:

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)


Early neurological disorders: dementia, Korsakoff syndrome (vitamin B1 deficiency), Wernike syndrome (ethyl encephalopathy) or tumors.



The major difficulty is that the sick person generally refuses all help. If the person agrees to consult, this is the preferred solution.

Treatment of the cause and social support will be necessary. Diogenes syndrome can be the object of behavioral treatment.

A physical exam and brain imaging tests, such as an MRI or positron emission tomography scan, will help the doctor identify any associated causes that can be treated.

Caring for someone with this condition can be overwhelming. The persons they knew may have disappeared.

They may need to seek legal or medical support if are unable to care for themself.

Or an involuntary commitment may be necessary. This happens if they cannot make the right decisions on their own behalf.


-Cipriani, Gabriele; Claudio Lucetti; Marcella Vedovello; Angelo Nuti (14 December 2012). «Diogenes syndrome in patients suffering from dementia». Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. 14 (4): 455–460. PMC 3553571. PMID 23393422.

-Reyes-Ortiz, C (2001). «Diogenes syndrome: The self-neglect elderly». Comprehensive Therapy. 27 (2): 117–121.


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