As Prevalent as Depression

Posted by on August 18, 2009 in Financial Therapy, Readings | 0 comments

Did you know that compulsive buying is about as prevalent as depression??? Well, it is.

The World Health Organization estimates the prevalence of depression among US adults to be 6.7%. According to a study conducted by Stanford University, 5.8% of US adults suffer from “problematic and uncontrolled buying behaviors.”

So why don’t we hear more about compulsive buying? Is “retail therapy” so normalized that we turn a blind eye to the havoc it can wreak on marriages and families, the contribution it makes to bankruptcy filings, the illegal activity it can promote, and the emotional strain it causes???

It’s difficult to watch TV or read a magazine without seeing an ad for an antidepressant medication. It’s impossible to watch TV or look at a magazine without being bombarded with highly sophisticated marketing, which is designed to make us want to buy, buy, buy. And yet there’s a stigma associated with discussing someone’s spending habits or proposing their spending may be out of hand.

How many friends or family members do you know who are on an antidepressant? Based on this estimate, how many people might you know who are privately struggling with compulsive buying? Perhaps they could use some “retail therapy” therapy.

What are your thoughts???

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