A recent survey has found that one in 20 American adults buy things they may not even want or never need or use. In today’s world of consumerism, where we are constantly bombarded by ads, this is perhaps not surprising. What may raise an eyebrow or two is a further finding in the study that men are just as likely as women to suffer from “compulsive buying”. Gone seem to be the days when women dragged their bored and fed-up-looking men around shopping malls. The new research from Stanford University has revealed that men are now just as avid and compulsive shoppers as their female counterparts. Researcher Dr Lorrin Koram said that the numbers of men who indulge in unnecessary shopping sprees has rocketed: "That's the biggest surprise -- men engage in this behavior almost as commonly as women," he said.
This finding runs counter to the conventional and rather stereotyped view that compulsive buying is very much a "woman's disease." Dr. Koram said trends and figures may have been unfairly skewed as male obsessive shoppers used to be more reluctant than women to recognize that they have a problem and then come forward and admit it. He pointed out that: "Generally, in psychiatry, men seek care less often than women…It's not 'manly' to seek help." And help seems to be exactly what the doctor ordered for any compulsive shopper, who is usually not made any happier by his or her relentless buying. Dr Koram warned: "It's always important to encourage people who have these types of disorders to seek treatment." Many find themselves laden with debt and filled with shame and suicidal tendencies as they attempt to hide their addiction.