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  1. #1
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    When does addiction turn to malfeasance?

    Camera 'addiction' can prove to be fatal for some. This caveat is not tailored only to photography but, essentially, to anything. Such obsession can lead to broken marriages, foolish financial decisions, misguided prerequisites, skewed perceptions about just what constitutes 'reality'.

    I love to buy photographic equipment, but, luckily, the 'lust' stops tempting me in direct proportion to the price: a camera stops being 'sexy' if it is not priced at a level that I know I could recoup if I had to. Thus, I (stupidly?) think that my addiction is not real or dangerous. But is it?

    Being queer, I have no worries about the 'Mrs' feeling that she is being treated in a subordinate fashion due to my 'hobby'. But, not having a 'significant other' does leave me without an 'anchor'.

    I present this question to see whether others have also found this issue to impinge upon their lives, perhaps in different but still significant ways, and whether self-denial has honestly played a part in augmenting this potential danger. And....importantly, cameras are not the only 'collectible' here: some hoard guns, dolls, magazines, (even women!!!). Comments? - David Lyga

  2. #2
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    When my children were young I read many books about child psychology and the general consensus of opinion in the profession is that the collecting urge begins in childhood and is to do with bowel retention and toilet training children too early.
    Speaking personally I used to be a big sufferer from G.A.S.but I have been a recovering addict for almost fifteen years now and what made it even worse was I worked in camera stores for more than twenty years ! which gave me a lot of opportunity to observe the behaviour of fellow sufferers first hand although it was my job to sell them equipment sometimes in extreme cases I used to tell them they had enough cameras,and I feel that at some point obsessive collecting of anything becomes a form of mental illness, at what point I'm not qualified to say
    Ben

  3. #3
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    Like a bartender supplying a drunk who will then drive home, benjiboy.

    Sometimes it becomes easier, on surface only, to deny to oneself that one has an OVERALL responsibility towards humanity that pre-empts one's circumscribed 'job'. Most of us like to dissociate such pervasive responsibilities and play the 'make believe' game of considering those implications 'none of our business' (when it really, undeniably, is). The fact that you 'noticed' the dichotomy and actually did feeble effort to address the situation , benjiboy, is indicative of a laudable emergence of ethics and responsibility on your part. I would like to think that I would do the same, but the so-called 'free market' runs this culture and sometimes that 'gets in the way' of (nasty, unwelcome) morality. - David Lyga

  4. #4
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
    Like a bartender supplying a drunk who will then drive home, benjiboy.

    Sometimes it becomes easier, on surface only, to deny to oneself that one has an OVERALL responsibility towards humanity that pre-empts one's circumscribed 'job'. Most of us like to dissociate such pervasive responsibilities and play the 'make believe' game of considering those implications 'none of our business' (when it really, undeniably, is). The fact that you 'noticed' the dichotomy and actually did feeble effort to address the situation , benjiboy, is indicative of a laudable emergence of ethics and responsibility on your part. I would like to think that I would do the same, but the so-called 'free market' runs this culture and sometimes that 'gets in the way' of (nasty, unwelcome) morality. - David
    Lyga
    Thanks David, I used to actually have customers wives phone me and beg me not sell their husbands any more equipment.
    Last edited by benjiboy; 08-17-2011 at 08:44 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Ben

  5. #5
    jp80874's Avatar
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    If you are asking, or have gotten to this post, it is probably later than the start.

    One who has been there many times on many different horses.
    I just keep telling myself immersion is where its at.
    Wanna buy a couple of Porsches or a few boats?

    John Powers
    "If you want to be famous, you must do something more badly than anybody in the entire world." Miroslav Tichı

  6. #6
    CGW
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    Some think we're all either in recovery or denial. Still, OCD and related DSM-IV disorders are real and do interfere with everyday functioning. I'm happily thinning out my 35mm stable--proof I guess(along with no withdrawl symptoms)that I wasn't addicted. Hold on tightly, let go lightly. It's just "stuff."

  7. #7

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    While anything can get out of hand, I remember a post in which a member's wife objected to a purchase. This was a second marraige and the first husband of the wife had gone astray. On second consideration she decided that a husband with a hobby at home is less likely to stray. I liked that.
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

    Regards
    Bill

  8. #8
    jp80874's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowanw View Post
    While anything can get out of hand, I remember a post in which a member's wife objected to a purchase. This was a second marraige and the first husband of the wife had gone astray. On second consideration she decided that a husband with a hobby at home is less likely to stray. I liked that.
    The "purchase" was a whole darkroom which now goes from 35mm to 7x17. She has left open the option to put a lock on the door at the top of the stairs. It could either keep me in or out as needed.

    It should be noted that the first husband died under questionable circumstances at age 53. I continue to survive at 71. The wife in question is 65.

    John Powers
    Last edited by jp80874; 08-17-2011 at 09:51 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    "If you want to be famous, you must do something more badly than anybody in the entire world." Miroslav Tichı

  9. #9
    jp498's Avatar
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    I don't buy the toilet training psychology (based on my own experience, but it doesn't guarantee it's not of effect elsewhere). My daughter was not trained early relative to some of her peers, and has a variety of collecting experience at age 6 and loves watching shows like American Pickers with me. My other daughter hasn't started training yet, but seems to collect some stuff and isn't yet 2. She's got a little basket she keeps some favorite trinkets in. Having lots of hand me down toys, having 2-3 of something (like a lego person or a dora/diego figure) is far better than just one.

    My first daughter collects stuff like I do, like my mother does, like my grandfather did. I think there is a heriditary aspect to g.a.s. We each have different things that interest us that we collect.

    Some people trade cameras all the time, happy to have a certain example (typically the latest and greatest) for a stint and then they are ready for something else. Their logic in this is that part of the time, especially with used items, they can do it without cost or even make a little money at it. I'm not one of them.

    I buy something and keep it if I'm apt to use it once in a while. If it's something that never gets used (like less than every 5 years) and is commonly replaceable, I'll sell/trade it for something more interesting or obscure. Thus, I get things and mostly don't sell them. Used things are cool because I like history and don't like the depreciation hit. I don't buy collector quality either, prefering bargain or excellent- type of gear. I love it when fedex or UPS bring something too, every such day is like a little birthday or Christmas.

    I think the reason my buying is OK with my wife is that I don't buy compulsively. If finances are OK and the opportunity presents itself, I might make an offer to buy something. A lack of time (work and family) also prevent me from acquiring more stuff, as it takes time to preprare and use what I buy. Lenses need CLAs or need to be mounted or shuttered. I don't mind a delay between buying things and using them, but buying too much stuff and not getting around to using can come back to bite you. That aspect is a sign of illness more often than just buying it because you were thinking ahead and know an item isn't likely to be on the market again for many years.

  10. #10
    agw
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    I think the "hoarding program" is deeply ingrained in our genetics, and once - in the age before supermarkets etc. - used to ensure our survival. Nowadays, collecting edibles for the most part not being necessary any more in our "industrialized" societies, this gathering urge needs new releases. Therefore people collect things and sometimes really strange things. Cameras by a wide margin aren't the most strange things that people can and do collect, nor are they the most expensive.

    Of course, I think this doesn't mean that one should necessarily indulge in collecting something till one gets broke - or beyond. A problem arises when the collecting becomes addictive, as addiction too often leads to uninhibited indulgence.

    But occasional for even slight dover-indulgence? I think we shouldn't care too much. To over-emphasize: What's better, dying rich and unhappy, or happy and poor?

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