Possessions In The Old Age

  • The elderly form bonds with their personal belongings and at the same time feel nostalgic about the brands when they were young. The attachment towards stuff deepens as the age goes by, cherished and preserved by them to remember the old times gone by.
  • The possessions form a link towards their younger selves, memories and relationships, and become family heirlooms after their death.
  • The stuff that celebrities use fetches good money in auctions after they die, as people try to find the essence of the person in the item.
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Attraction Towards Stuff

Right from childhood, we are attracted to things that we can call our own, stuff like clothes, toys, bags, and books, later morphing into adult toys like cars, jewellery, furniture, Playstations and iPhones.

These possessions become our extension and eventually our legacy.

  • In children, attachment to certain objects like a favourite toy or blanket is common.
  • They can rebel or move to tears when made to part with the object they are attached to, as a deep bond is formed.
  • The object aids the kid’s transition to adulthood and is more common when they are not attached to their parents.

Being happy with material goods peaks during the formative years, when new experiences make the teenager’s already fragile self-esteem fluctuate. A sense of self-worth and respect makes them less prone to attachment towards materialist objects.

Pre-teen girls identify so much with material objects like clothes, that if they exchange it with each other, it feels that they have shared their identity.

  • The first car is often the main symbol of identity, with young adults seeing it as an extension of themselves.
  • The house becomes the extension of the physical body and is a clear reflection on the image the owner wants to convey.
  • Research shows that a fragile ego and powerlessness are triggers to buy high-status products, as it offsets the inner inadequateness.
  • Our possession signals our status and availability to others.

Wearing luxury clothes has social benefits, as a study shows it helps in getting a job or soliciting money for charity, and much like a uniform can communicate about one’s membership or affiliation to certain clubs, groups, or sports teams.

The loss of material possessions often comes as a form of death to many, as many victims of theft or mugging feel a certain psychological loss, which is greater than the financial value of the stolen item.

Many also see the disposal of possessions as a liberating feeling full of closure and growth, as they finish a chapter of their lives and start another.

As the world goes increasingly digital, our online identity becomes the primary way to tell the world about our possessions, likes, dislikes and desires.

Our self has extended itself in our digital possessions, which create the same kind of attachment as older people have with physical objects.

Holding on to one’s belongings, when taken to the extreme, becomes a serious problem of hoarding when the owners are reluctant to ever part with their collectables.

Hoarding disorder is a growing problem and can be the reason for fire hazards and even other mental disorders stemming from the clutter.

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RELATED IDEAS

Hoarding

Severe hoarding afflicts about one in every fifty people.

Their compulsion causes the hoarders to suffer mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially. Relationships seem to suffer the most as families and friends struggle to cope with their condition.

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IDEAS

Hoarding Isn’t About Stockpiling

Hoarding is a serious psychiatric disorder which has been witnessed by doctors for centuries, and is not some behavioural trait of otherwise normal people.

Symptoms of this disorder start from adolescence, and later become problematic.

Digital hoarding

Is the reluctance to get rid of the digital clutter we accumulate through our work and personal lives, to the point of loss of perspective, which eventually results in stress and disorganisation.

It can make us feel just as stressed and overwhelmed as physical clutter.

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