voices in the family

Compulsive Buying Disorder


We sometimes make jokes about compulsive behavior, but the effects can be devastating. While you and I might find shopping pleasurable or a necessary task, people who do this compulsively can sacrifice not only their finances but also their health and relationships.

Psychologist Dan Gottlieb discusses Compulsive Buying Disorder (CBD) and what it means for millions of Americans and their loved ones with April Lane Benson, Ph.D., and Elias Aboujaoude, MD.

Dr. Benson is a psychologist who specializes in the treatment of compulsive buying disorder. She’s the author of To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop and editor of I Shop, Therefore I Am: Compulsive Buying and the Search for Self.

Dr. Aboujaoude is a Stanford University psychiatrist and author. His books include Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the e-Personality and Compulsive Acts: A Psychiatrist’s Tales of Ritual and Obsession.


Recommended reading:

  • Spent: Break the Buying Obsession and Discover Your True Worth by Sally Palaian
  • I Shop Therefore I Am: Compulsive Buying and the Search for Self by April Benson (guest)
  • To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop by April Benson (guest)
  • Born To Spend: Overcoming Compulsive Spending by Gloria Arenson
  • Stop Me Because I Can’t Stop Myself: Taking Control of Impulsive Behavior by Jon Grant
  • Consuming Passions: Help for Compulsive Shoppers by Ellen Mohr Catalano
  • Compulsive Acts: A Psychiatrist’s Tales of Ritual and Obsession by Elias Aboujaoude (guest)
  • Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality by Elias Aboujaoude (guest)
  • Impulse Control Disorders by Elias Aboujaoude (guest)

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  • http://www.leadersinsight.com Janet Steinwedel, PhD

    As an executive coach, I am privy to some of the conversations where individuals divulge behaviors such as compulsive buying disorder – could also be binge eating, drinking too much, or internet compulsion. I wonder what we can be doing for the next generation – how can we get to these issues proactively – build the kind of coping skills in our youth that will lower the rates of addiction of all kinds? I don’t ever remember anyone having those conversations with us in school. My clients don’t remember being given tools to cope with such issues. They often note that it’s been there good fortune to have the coaching experience or they would never have found the support they needed. I do encourage clients to go to therapy and analysis when appropriate, but they say they don’t have the time to give to it or the inclination to get that kind of help. Somehow we need to be doing something sooner. One of your guests mentioned self-actualization…I think this is a great way into the conversation in schools or other community programs.

  • Laura Pritchard

    One of your callers talked about loneliness which I don’t think your guest fully addresses. So many people are lonely, especially in these times of everyone being online. Volunteering is a great idea and what people usually say, but people who are really that lonely are generally not joiners. It’s a huge dilemma that affects so many. Any further thoughts?




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