Definition of Diogenes syndrome

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

Diogenes syndrome: a behavioral disorder that occurs in elderly people characterized by living in squalor, unhygienic living conditions, self-neglect, social isolation, lack of shame, and hoarding. Refusal of help and denial of the condition are common in people suffering from Diogenes syndrome. Diogenes syndrome is also known as senile squalor syndrome. The exact cause is not well understood, but both neurologic and psychoemotional factors may play a role.


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REFERENCE: Longo, D.L., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2012.

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