Monday, October 02, 2006

Equal Opportunity Shop-a-holics




It's always a kick to be interviewed about an important psychological topic.

Siri Nilsson, reporter for the ABC News Medical Unit, interviewed me regarding a new study that shows that men AND women experience Compulsive Buying Disorder in equal numbers. For the whole article, click here

The study, from the Stanford University School of Medicine, says that contrary to popular opinion, nearly as many men as women have the impulse control buying disorder in the United States, a condition marked by binge buying and subsequent financial hardship.

I wonder if these statistics generalize to other countries.


Resources

ABCNEWS.COM

Hollander, E. & Allen, A. (2006). Is compulsive buying a real disorder, and is it really compulsive? American Journal of Psychiatry, 163: 1670-1672.

39 comments:

IdgyEdgy said...

Interesting study & article Dr. Deb. I wonder, do men tend to buy bigger ticket items than women do when they buy compulsively?

When we think about all who do without the basic necessities, it's obscene to see how much $$ is spent on items that will probably never be used. Makes me go hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.........

Brenda

~Deb said...

I'm guilty for bringing home expensive clothes or jewelry---and not even wear half of it, because for some strange reason...it just doesn't look that appealing once it's brought home.

It's a sickness!

Anonymous said...

I love shopping, but not too much... just enough ;) Then where do gay guys fit in to this gender specific study? Stuck in the middle....

Dr. A said...

I'm a sucker for electronics: computer stuff, iPod, cell phone, laptop, PDA, satellite radio for my car...

Well, you get the idea. Compulsive buyer? Guilty as charged...

Sarebear said...

ME ME ME ME ME! It's all about ME! This story. I'm NOT that narcissistic.

Hee hee hee. I did this a few days ago. Spent $40 on beads when we are $650 in the hole every month and this month is worse w/car taxes due, needs two new tires to pass inspection, plus inspection fees, and then dd's birthday too.

I've been under alot of pressure . . . and good for SO very long, and my mom bought a necklace I made for $50 . . . so I justify it that way.

Sick? probably. The hobby is therapy for me, and having it pay for itself in the stuff I sell wholesale to a guy, or rather to a guy who sells it wholesale so I get almost nothing over cost, is a lifesaver.

Again, though, I'm doing a bit of that observing ego thing, and yeah this is all a bunch of talk to make myself feel like it was ok to do.

Suckage. I've had this huge pressure to buy stuff for awhile, and I've been GOOD for awhile. So I let myself do a little . . .

Anyway. Not looking for therapy, just sayin' my very apt experience w/this this week . . .

Part of me feels we're in such a bad spot financially, that what i spent wouldn't make a diff anyway . . .

see, there I go again. Lol.

SkyeBlue2U said...

Hi Dr. Deb. I've been working 14 days straight who has time to spend $ 0n anything except hotdog @ 7/11, which I call "Club Convientent", missing you and everyone in a bad way. Love and peace to all.

puhpaul said...

It's nice to know that this is a mental disorder too. This is another one I can add to my list. Actually I don't think I am a compulsive shopper, but I do tend to binge a bit when I'm feeling particularly depressed.

I hope you've been able to get that gall bladder taken care of.

paul

Rose said...

You hit the reasons on the head. I shop to alleviate problems, loneliness and boredom. Shopping relieves me from stress and depression.

BarBarA said...

That is so interesting. I wonder about other countries as well. It seems that the USA has their a lot of "issues" unique to only us. That's not a good thing or a bad thing...well maybe its a bad thing considering the news headlines lately :(

marie said...

I unfortunately fit into this category. I impulse buy merely out of emotional need and nothing else.

kath said...

i have an aunt who had/ has ( haven't seen her in a long time ) this shopping tahing. she would buy anything.. and usually 5 of them.. sets of pots and pans.. piles and piles of fabric..
dishes..

lamps etc..

me? i am a book-a-holic and buy too many books..

i am trying to mend my ways and become a library-a holic :)


otherwise, i am more of a minimalist.. i don't like a lot of "Stuff... lying about..
now.. of course.. i have my fountan and crystals on the alter in my room... but..
i rarely buy them.. they come to me.

i don't care about clothes or jewelry.. or shoes.. ( i do have 3 pairs of crocs, because they are so comfy )

anyway.. i hate to shop!

to be honest.. i hate to have to leave home..
work is more than enough time out of my house..
:P


oh.. good interview..!

:)

yay you!

jumpinginpuddles said...

now you see thats why you have opp shops or thrift shops we like spoending but we like it more when its a bargain at a thrift shop, seems more satisfying for us and we spend only five bucks compared to fifty bucks and it goes to charity but even then we still buy crap we dont need becasue its so cheap ;)

Traci said...

My husband is just as bad as I am! LOL It kind-a comes and goes for me you know? It depends on my mood.

Ian Lidster said...

Interesting piece and your comments were very apt, Deborah. I found when I was researching during my addictions counseling days that there were strong parallels between compulsive shopping and alcoholism/drug addiction, as well as sexual addiction and, as was mentioned, compulsive gambling. Like consumption of a drug or sexual orgasm, shopping was a feel-good quick fix designed to obliterate negative feelings. I often found that addicted clients often also possessed vehicles they couldn't afford, as well as expensive cell-phones, I-pods and other up-to-the-minute bits of stuff.
Thanks as always for what you give your readers.

Your friend and admirer,
Ian

CrackerLilo said...

You know, nobody talks about male shopaholism, but debt can be incurred at Home Depot, Best Buy, Tower Records, etc. just as well as at boutiques and department stores. I'm glad this is being addressed.

Ms.L said...

My husband's thing is cars as was his father's before him,yikes!
We're still paying off the last one*groan* lucky for me he seems to be getting a handle on things now;)

OHN said...

With Ebay-we can even indulge while sitting on our fat butts and eating. Gotta love it :) I don't shop alot but when I do it is always on sale (and sometimes it is even something I actuallly need)--hubby though buys whatever strikes his fancy and doesn't even know the cost. I guess we compliment each other.

Clare said...

Another interesting post Deb :). The internet makes it so easy for shopping these days it's hard to resist the temptation.

Heidi said...

Binge Buying, Binge Eating..There's just too much BINGEING in this world..! ugh..lol

healthpsych said...

Other countries? Most definitely! I can vouch for the UK, Australia and Germany on that count.

Men? Most definitely!

The only difference is where I might come home with a book, he comes home with a tv/dvd recorder/insert other non-essential electronic gadget here.

Nancy said...

Dr Deb
I'm not a big shopper but i do find the research interesting because many of my co workers have the "i've got to have it" attitude and they feed on eachother. If a new Coach anything comes out they are all over it. I just sit and watch and save my money.
thanks for a good topic

Todd and in Charge said...

Interesting study, but how do you measure and account for the effect of advertising, both overt and subtle?

lightfeather said...

My name is lightfeather and I am a shopaholic. I have used retail therapy now for the past year and am trying desperately to stop. It has been the one constant relief for me through the trials and tribulations of this past year. BUT I know it has to stop. It may take more than weaning. I am going to make a real attempt.

Anonymous said...

Interesting study. As a guy I tend to binge shop, it's just for electronics instead of clothing.

difficultpt said...

Not surprised on this one . . .

A Flowered Purse said...

I know my hubby and I both stress shop.
No major purchases
YET LOL
Happy Wednesday
love
dianna

Id it is said...

That's quite an insight. However, does that mean that people who are not compulsive shoppers, men or women, are usually secure beings?

Wendy C. said...

Wow - that's scary. My boss and I go out 3 or 4 times a year for "retail therapy" on our lunch hour...we'll clean out the local designer outlet in under 45 minutes and get back to work with guilty little smiles all day!!
And I thought THAT was bad!

mysti said...

Interesting study. I think society sets its children up for "needing" everything. It is a surprise then that when they grow up to be adults, they still feel they "need" to have this or that? I have been trying to teach my children for years the difference between a "want" and a "need". Hopefully I am succeeding. I truly do not want them to grow up broke, because our society has shown that everything is a need.

princessdominique said...

Yes I was married to someone who couldn't resist an electronic purchase. Makes sense.

Astrorat said...

Sounds like an interesting piece of research! i am thinking of ways to replicate! ;)`

:)Astrorat

HeiressChild said...

i'm not a shopper, but i do love a good bargain--one that i can use though. i'll shop for my kitchen and bathroom quicker than for anything else. i come from a family of shoppers, though not all are compulsive shoppers. if i wait, in a couple of months, they'll want something else and i can have for free what they just bought.

Raine said...

interesting- in this study and all the comments no one has considered that alot of compulsive shopping is done during manic phases?.......

Anonymous said...

Hi Deb,
Just checking in to see how you are. I hope you are doing well.

The Mass Defective said...

Since when did lack of self control become a mental disorder? It seems like everything is being labeled a "disorder" lately, it's appalling at best. At worst it trivializes the truly serious and legitimate mental illnesses.

Everybody has problems, but most are far from mental disorders. Like they say on 20/20...give me a break.

Sid

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Hey All,

I've been so busy I haven't had time to respond to each of your comments. Please forgive.

And, soon I will visit your blogs.

xo,
Deb

urban butterfly said...

Wow!!

I must admit, I suffer from this!!

compulsive buying disorder....

books are usually my target!

Joel said...

Oh I can believe this, not only as a sufferer but also by watching the expensive junk that men accumulate in the name of status.

"Just one more tool, honey, and I'll be able to restore that Dodge Rambler...."

Sarebear said...

Actually having a hard time fighting my MUST BUY SOMETHING urges.

Ugh.

Another day, another dollar, never was a more applicable saying . . .