"I wish this was pizza."
And big spending can be every bit as addictive as cocaine. Psychologists have coined the term "wealth fatigue syndrome" to describe a set of symptoms commonly found in the super rich: clinical depression, paranoia, and out-of-control spending. Without having something to do, like a day job, many people choose not to do anything productive at all. Sure, we all think we'd dedicate our lives to our families, or helping the needy, or finally pursuing our passions -- but we also think we're going to go to the gym on our day off, and look at how that usually turns out.
Endless, mindless spending is a lot more fun than charity work. But the more you spend, the more you want to spend, like with any addictive behavior. Psychologists working in the wealth fatigue field tell insane stories of people buying multi-million-dollar properties and spending millions more to completely redesign them, only to become disgusted with the project once it's done, scrapping the whole thing to start over, and over, and over.
"Ugh, only 23 bedrooms, like some common hobo. Call the realtor."
Maybe that's why rich neighborhoods have unusually high suicide rates. Spending your insane money until you're broke is certainly a better addiction than, say, smoking crack until you die from smoking too much crack. But a crippling addiction is still a crippling addiction. It's right there in the name.