Are you a debt addict?
"Hi. I'm David Duchovny. And I'm a sex addict."
If you find yourself just lingering just a bit too long on HUKD, spending your waking/working hours thinking of buying stuff, talking yourself into that new 40" HDTV because 'it is only £450' even though you could barely afford rent, or tremble in fear at the thought of dealing with those credit card companies asking when you're going to pay stuff off- you may be a debt addict.
But claiming you're a debt addict is apparently like saying you're a sex addict.
Neither are currently considered as clinical addictions, according to the ICD-11 and DSM-V classification, the 2 most authoritative world standard manuals on psychiatric and mental conditions.
The conclusion: David Duchovny is just a dirty old man.
The Chicago Tribune begs to differ. America, they say, is addicted to spending money and getting into debt. True? Maybe. $2.5 TRILLION dollars owed to China is quite a alot of money. The BC Times agrees, even going as far to comparing it to a crack cocaine binge.
But here in the UK, we consider ourselves a bit more 'conservative' than zee Americans. But how do we really fare in terms of our spending habits, and in accumulating debt? How do we know if we really got a problem?
Debters Anonymous, an organization that helps "recovery from problems with debt" has kindly laid out 12 signs of compulsive debting. So if you're finding that the extra credit card you got for your spouse is being abused, maybe you can gently forward them this article.
Here are the first 5 signs:
1. Being unclear about your financial situation. Not knowing account balances, monthly expenses, loan interest rates, fees, fines, or contractual obligations.
2. Frequently "borrowing" items such as books, pens, or small amounts of money from friends and others, and failing to return them.
3. Poor saving habits. Not planning for taxes, retirement or other not-recurring but predictable items, and then feeling surprised when they come due; a "live for today, don't worry about tomorrow" attitude."
4. Compulsive shopping: Being unable to pass up a "good deal"; making impulsive purchases; leaving price tags on clothes so they can be returned; not using items you've purchased.
5. Difficulty in meeting basic financial or personal obligations, and/or an inordinate sense of accomplishment when such obligations are met.
You can read the rest of the twelve signs on their website, especially if the 5 points above are starting to sound a bit like you.
But until the upcoming 2012 edition of the DSM-V is released when they may include addictions beyond that of substance abuse, feel free to just embrace who you are.
Shopping is good for your chicken soul. The psychiatrists say so. They must be correct.