Shopaholics are almost as likely to be men as they are women, according to a study published by psychologists today. The report overturns the widespread view that binge buying is a predominantly female pursuit, and claims more than one in 20 of adults are prone to compulsive spending sprees.
Known to psychologists as compulsive buying disorder, people who binge-buy experience waves of irresistible and often senseless urges to shop. They are often left with bundles of unwanted clothes and other items and rack up sizeable debts from frequent shopping bonanzas. The consequences can be severe, leading to bankruptcy, divorce, embezzlement and even suicide attempts.
[SOURCE: Guardian Unlimited, 30 Sept 2006 ]
Like my previous post about Malaysia, I think this is another affliction limited to wealthy nations. If you have extra money to spend, then why not give in to that senseless urge of buying unwanted items? But having no money limits one to get crazy. Of course, if you begin robbing banks or assaulting persons to steal money to feed your delirious wants, then the gravity of your mental illness worsens.
The study published in the current issue of the AJP (abstract is here), says that the estimated point prevalence of compulsive buying among women is 6 percent and 5.5 percent for men. 'Almost negligible differences. The study was done in the US by interviewing more than 2,500 adults.
The study further said that, "compulsive buyers were younger," and "a greater proportion reported incomes under $50,000." They were also 4 times less likely to pay their credit card balances in full. 'No wonder their debts accumulate, huh?
Female compulsive buyers splurge on clothes, cosmetics, jewelry, and home articles.
Male compulsive buyers, on the other hand, fork out money buying tools, gadgets, CDs, books (uh-oh!), cameras, and computer stuff.
Compulsive buying does not make the sufferer feel any happier, according to the study. Maybe that is why their spending adventure never ends. They also will try to hide this shopping addiction from family and friends. They might even ignore it and pretend there's nothing wrong with them. Who profits from all of these? The shop owners, of course! They'd surely be sad if these compulsive buyers suddenly get cured. *LOL*
How about you? Do you think you're a compulsive buyer? How will you know? Look here.