If you believe the image portrayed in both the media and in cinemas (Confessions Of A Shopaholic, anyone?), addiction to spending is a solely female affliction. But the tale of Buzz Bissinger, a US author who has revealed an addiction to Gucci clothing, has shed light on what a damaging effect the disorder can have on men.
Writing in GQ, Bissinger admits to having spent £420,000 on Gucci outfits in just three years.
The author of Friday Night Lights, a novel that spawned a movie and a TV series, spent so much that he was flown to Milan to see collections. "I see a black leather biker jacket I know I must have," he said. "Even though I already own 15 jackets of similar style."
A 2006 study suggested that compulsive buying affected up to six per cent of Americans. Last week, the academic Professor Ronald J Faber told The Atlantic there appeared to be little difference between genders when it came to levels of compulsive shopping.
Bissinger is, happily, receiving treatment, which can vary from 12-step programmes to drug therapy.