Is collectionism a diagnostic clue for Diogenes syndrome?

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2005 Aug;20(8):709-11. doi: 10.1002/gps.1347.


Background: Diogenes syndrome (DS) is characterized by extreme self-neglect, domestic squalor, and social withdrawal. Despite having been described decades ago, it is still difficult to persue a correct diagnosis in primary care clinics.

Methods: This paper reports a case of an elderly man with extreme self neglect and an abnormal collecting pattern whose condition remained undetected for many years. His collectionism was manifested with a tendency to store items in an organized manner but without a clear purpose.

Conclusion: The authors suggest that the presence of collectionism could be a helpful clue towards diagnosis of DS in similar cases.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Compulsive Behavior / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Hygiene
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology
  • Social Isolation / psychology
  • Syndrome
  • Treatment Refusal