By Emsie Martin
Addiction to buying is sometimes shrugged off as a joke, especially whan a husband actually boasts about his wife who has depleted his credit card. In reality it is an addition like any other. Addiction to buying is also known as compulsive buying disorder (CBD).
Psychiatrists are still debating as to whether CBD is an addiction disorder or an obsessive compulsive disorder. Whatever they decide, the habit of buying excessively leads to disaster and seriously disadvantaging yourself and your family, according to the National Institute of Health.
People suffering from CBD usually suffer from a heightened level of anxiety which they can only relieve through buying. This conduct has a negative impact on their lives as later they can no longer pay back the debt as a result of this predominating desire to buy. Many totally lose complete interest in these articles that were purchased.
According to Neil Roets, CEO of Debt Rescue, there are three types of debt incurred by South Africans:
- Debt to survive
- Debt to maintain your current lifestyle
- Living on debt to support a luxurious lifestyle
While many people associate an impulsive desire to buy with someone who want to live in luxury, studies have proven that this is not the case.
Some interesting facts about compulsive buyers:
- People with a low income can also be compulsive buyers; they buy at places where prices are lower and usually at sales.
- According to an article in National Institutes of Health there are four stages of CBD: expectation, preparation, shopping and spending.
- As with many addictive behaviours, people with CBD are unwilling to acknowledge that they have a problem. Their buying habits cause problems in their relationships with a spouse, friends and family.
- Compulsive buyers usually buy items they don’t need, can’t afford or can’t really use. It’s more about the deed than the items bought.
- The items most popular with compulsive buyers are clothes, shoes, CDs, jewellery, cosmetics or domestic items. These items are usually referred to as bargains.
- Studies have shown that 80% of compulsive buyers are women, but researchers warn that men with the disorder see themselves as ‘collectors’ rather than buyers.
- Compulsive buyers usually shop on their own.
- CBD is also associated with mood and anxiety disorders and substance abuse.
- CBD is sometimes inclined to occur in a family and is found worldwide under rich as well as poor communities.
- Different studies in the USA, Europe and Brazil estimate that between 2% and 16% of the population are compulsive buyers.
- People with CBD sometimes have family members who also suffer from depression and substance abuse.
- CBD usually manifests in the late teens and early twenties.
- According to the journal Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, the urge to buy is usually preceded by a feeling of depression, tension or boredom.
- The action of buying gives compulsive buyers some or other feeling of ecstasy or euphoria that never lasts long.
- After such a buying session most people with CBD experience a feeling of disappointment, guilt, anger and anxiety.
- Not having cash is not an impediment for people with CBD as most purchases are done with credit cards or on account.
- According to Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, items that are bought are usually hoarded, hidden, given away of completely forgotten.
- The study also mentions that compulsive buyers will continue with the habit regardless of the consequences and legal implications.
- According to a report of Stanford University antidepressants can assist to alleviate CBD.
- Treatment can also take place through discussion therapy where you learn to change your mind-set.