This is a comment I left on a very thought provoking post on SCU
For me the answer to your (Gellman's) question "I'm just curious if others have seen the same correlations I have?"; is yes, in more ways than you can imagine. Back almost a year ago I wrote a post titled "Collecting vs. Accumulating"
When my wife and I moved from a town home to a single family I made the conscious decision to throw away about 20-30x the material I did in my now infamous "Junk Wax How To" video.
I started collecting again as a way to "consciously" fill the time and energy I used to spend on smoking pot, selling pot, buying pot, thinking about pot etc. I have always had a very addictive personality and I knew that I was going to need something to fill some of the wasted time I had spent involved with drugs for years. A friend had recently asked me when the last time I had been in a card shop or seen a baseball card. It had been awhile and when I saw jersey pieces, and autos, I was hooked.
I went through an unhealthy period of collecting with spending WAY too much money including a mid-life crisis that unbeknownst to my wife I got a PayPal credit card and said, "Fuck it, I'm not waiting 'til I retire to have and enjoy the things I really want in my collection." ,and then proceeded to rack up $4k before my wife busted me with the bill.
I'd like to think I have since found a balance, although I probably spend too much time reading and writing about the hobby. But I try to do this on my own time. Lunch at work, after the kids are in bed, etc.
Periodically, I look in the closet in my office and go, "What am I going to do with all this stuff." (The dozens of releases I bought monthly for my first several years back "into" collecting).
When you have OCD, and an addictive personality you have to be careful, at least I know I do.