-“Doctor…I can’t resist it—got to keep buying lots of stuff all the time.”
Claire X. is a nice middle-aged woman with a good job and a supportive family that feels nonetheless obliged to visit the mall 2 or 3 times per week in order to browse what’s on offer and buying lots of unneeded merchandise.She is suffering from a defined psychological condition: compulsive buying.
The psychological factors at play in this alteration are usually the following:
- Desire for approval and recognition from others
- Bolstering of the self-esteem
- Escapism into a self-designed fantasy world
- Weak defenses against consumerist propaganda
- Social pressure “to have” instead of “to be”
- Passive-aggressive expression of anger against someone
Helga Dittmar, a researcher at Sussex University, says there are two factors:
- Discrepancy between the perceived actual self and the desired one
- Attachment to material values in contrast to spiritual ones
All humans dream awake and have a somewhat slightly different view of who they really are; it’s one of the strongest motors of our daily lives as it prods us to strive in becoming better persons when someone respected by us points at the discrepancy. As such it represents, with the interminable task of child-bearing, the most important role of women in a couple’s relationship.
Like in Alcohol Abuse, Overeating and Sexual Promiscuity, the splurging on goods and services apparently is desperately needed by some persons to fill that “existential gap”; some “prestige goods” rank higher in that priority list. The mendacious advertisement in the TV, radio and print media disguise those goods as needed accoutrements “to be someone” and “express values.” It is much more common for women to use this “identity repair” than men.
What do you think? Please tell us.
Don’t leave me alone.