Compulsive Shopping

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compulsiveCompulsive shopping and spending is described as a pattern of chronic, repetitive purchasing that becomes difficult to stop and ultimately results in harmful consequences.  It is defined as an impulse control disorder and has features similar to other addictive disorders without involving the use of an intoxicating drug. There are many social and cultural factors that tend to increase the addictive potential of shopping and spending.  The easy availability of credit and the material focus of society in general, encourages people to accumulate possessions now and worry about financial responsibility later.  Purchasing has been made easier with the availability of on-line shopping and television warning signs of compulsive shopping

* Shopping or spending money as result of feeling disappointed, angry, or scared * Shopping or spending habits causing emotional distress in one's life * Having arguments with others about one's shopping or spending habits * Feeling lost without credit cards

* Buying items on credit that would not be bought with cash * Feeling a rush of euphoria and anxiety when spending money * Feeling guilty, ashamed, embarrassed, or confused after shopping or spending money * Lying to others about purchases made or how much money was spent * Thinking excessively about money

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Consequences 

* The consequences of oniomania, which may persist long after a spree, can be devastating, with marriages, long-term relationships, and jobs all feeling the strain. Further problems can include ruined credit history, theft or defalcation of money, defaulted loans, general financial trouble and in some cases bankruptcy or extreme debt, as well as anxiety and a sense of life spiralling out of control.

* The resulting stress can lead to physical health problems and ruined relationships, or even suicide.
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