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What is compulsive shopping and spending?
People who "shop 'till they drop" and run their credit cards up to the limit often have a shoppingaddiction. They believe that if they shop they will feel better. Compulsive shopping and spending generally makes a person feel worse. It is similar to other addictive behaviors and has some of the samecharacteristics as as problem drinking (alcoholism), gambling and overeating addictions.
Compulsive shopping or spending can be a seasonal balm for the depression, anxiety and loneliness during theDecember holiday season. It also can occur when a person feels depressed, lonely and angry. Shopping and spending will not assure more love, bolster self-esteem, or heal the hurts, regrets, stress, andthe problems of daily living. It generally makes these feelings worse because of the increased financial debt the person has obtained from compulsive shopping.

How can you tell if you are acompulsive shopper?
Shopaholics, when they are feeling "out of sorts, shop for a “pick-me-up." They go out and buy, to get a high, or get a "rush" just like a drug or alcohol addict. Shopping addiction tendsto affect more women than men. They often buy things they do not need. Holiday seasons can trigger shopping binges among those who are not compulsive the rest of the year. Many shopping addicts go onbinges all year long and may be compulsive about buying certain items, such as shoes, kitchen items or clothing; some will buy anything.

Women with this compulsive disorder often have racks ofclothes and possessions with the price tags still attached which have never been used. They will go to a shopping mall with the intention of buying one or two items and come home with bags and bags ofpurchases. In some cases shopaholics have an emotional "black out" and do not remember even buying the articles. If their family or friends begin to complain about their purchases, they will often...