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Handbag Addiction Empties Wallets MADELEINE BRAND, host: A new study in the American Journal of Psychiatry concludes that many Americans suffer from compulsive or addictive shopping, and the report likens the addiction to pathological gambling. Our humorist, Brian Unger, examines one aspect of this dangerous habit in today s Unger Report. BRIAN UNGER: Shopping, an addiction. To the lead researchers at Stanford University, the Unger Report salutes you, ye masters of the obvious, but faults ye for not highlighting the prime cause of this addiction for women the arm candy that is destroying relationships across this great land of ours yes, handbags. (Soundbite of music) UNGER: Purses, clutches, pocketbooks: the new dime bags. No longer 10 bucks, 10,000 bucks. On the street, they go by names like Hildegard Hobo, Beaver, Mini Linda or Striping Trish. Whatever you want to call it, it is destroying the fabric of American coupledom, leaving men in utter shock that a woman could spend $4,000 on a leather sack, then call it an accident, like slipping on a banana peel. The Unger Moncler Jackets Toronto Report interviewed a variety of handbag aholics, all of whom wish to remain anonymous and who are heard here in dramatic recreation. Unidentified Woman 1: I call all my handbag purchases accidents. The delicious Burberry bag I almost accidentally purchased today was $1,800. Then I thought, it s either the bag or the mortgage. (Soundbite of music) UNGER: The handbag Moncler Bags Sale so powerful, so addictive, it s forcing women to choose between a tote on their arm or a roof over their head. Another woman confesses. Unidentified Woman 2: Once I waited three weeks for a handbag to come in. You would ve thought I was waiting for a kidney. UNGER: A horrifying admission that a purse is often more precious than filtering one s own blood. Unidentified Woman 2: I could feed a small nation on my handbag obsession. UNGER: More important than food, essential as shelter, vital as health. Men, we don t even make the list. Experts say six percent of women are compulsive shoppers, and while not a recognized psychiatric diagnosis, it is being considered for inclusion in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. But experts have done little to confront the emerging handbag threat, as so many men have. One who asked that his name be withheld said about his girlfriend. Unidentified Man: She got depressed and went out and bought an $8,000 Fendi fur spy bag. I thought she was talking about a car. Then she showed me the car and it fit on her arm. UNGER: This reporter replied, Moncler Men White Short Sleeves T-Shirt Red Blue Stripe never admit you know what a Fendi fur spy bag is. Now go play tackle football, change the spark plugs on your car, and read Cigar Aficionado. (Soundbite of music) UNGER: For some compulsive shoppers, the handbag is a visible identifier of status. Unidentified Woman 3: It s like wearing a clothing label on the outside of your shirt. UNGER: One women says of her need to cop a Chanel handbag. The price: $3,000. Unidentified Woman 3: The bag wasn t even big enough to hold money, which is fine, because I won t have any after I buy it. UNGER: Consumer alert: The handbag is the new crystal meth that won t screw up your teeth, just ruin your credit. And that is today s Unger Report. I m Brian Unger. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR s prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information. NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future.

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