Advertisement

What is wealth addiction?

Paul  Hokemeyer, PhD
Marriage & Family Therapy
The concept of “wealth addiction” as a psychological disorder is not new. The term was coined in 1983 by the late sociologist Philip Slater. In a book simply titled Wealth Addiction, Slater, best known for his influential earlier work, The Pursuit of Loneliness, maintained that our reliance on money and the things it buys becomes an obsession that destroys our lives. This notion has recently been given unexpected publicity by a former hedge-fund trader, Sam Polk, in a much talked-about op-ed in The New York Times (January 19, 2014) and the film The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Wealth addiction is a very real phenomenon and falls under the category of a behavioral addiction. The three key characteristics of wealth addiction are:
  • Tolerance: More and more money is needed to attain a baseline level of satisfaction.
  • Withdrawal: The thought of losing money or not making it fills a person with fear, anxiety and stress.
  • Negative consequences: In their pursuit of money, the person forgoes emotional fulfillment, intimate relationships and peace of mind.

 

Continue Learning about Mental Disorders

What You Need to Know About Misophonia
What You Need to Know About Misophonia
Does the sound of someone chewing food or even hearing them breathe bother you—​alot? You may have a condition called misophonia. Also known as select...
Read More
What is the difference between an illusion and a hallucination?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
An illusion is simply a misinterpretation of data that the brain is receiving—perhaps caused by ligh...
More Answers
How common are serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia?
Mark Moronell, MDMark Moronell, MD
The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that 5% to 7% of adults are currently living wit...
More Answers
Dr. Tamar Chansky - What Is hostess anxiety?
Dr. Tamar Chansky - What Is hostess anxiety?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.