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Spending frenzies of the rich and famous

Are you a shopaholic too? You'd better check, twice, before the holiday shopping craze gets the best of you.

Peter Bernard

HealthKey.com

November 23, 2009

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Most of us have done it at one point or another ...You see something in a store that you just HAVE to have and no matter what. And no matter if you can afford it or not, and you buy it. The consequences, and the charge to your credit card, will be dealt with later. Much later.

For the rich and famous, lavish shopping sprees are a regular occurrence. Britney Spears is considered by many to be the queen of compulsive shoppers, and is known to spend tens, and sometimes hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars on shopping sprees.

Starlet and hot mess Lindsay Lohan allegedly spends $15,000 a week in fancy boutiques. Kim Kardashian's shopping addiction got so out of control that her family, led by mom Kris, held an intervention that was featured on the weekly reality show starring the famous family. She allegedly stopped her compulsive shopping - briefly.

And while the glitterati frequently have the deep pockets required to support their over-the-top spending frenzies, and addiction, what about the rest of us?

Addiction experts label compulsive shopping and spending as a serious disease that can cost the afflicted their relationships, jobs, homes and other prized possessions, all the while racking up massive debts, usually on high-interest credit cards. Plus, while men are more likely than women to be addicted to drugs and alcohol, research shows that compulsive shopping affects mostly women. As with other addictions, the spending addict continues to spend and shop in the face of adverse consequences. Sometimes referred to as "shopaholism", compulsive shopping can create massive financial, marital, legal and family problems. These consequences are identical in nature to the consequences created from drug addiction and alcoholism.

Here are some signs and symptoms of compulsive shopping and spending:

Breaking Your Budget

Many times you will break your budget by spending more than you have agreed to. This can create tremendous financial strain as you spend well above your means.

Compulsive Buying

When you go shopping you may go with the intention of buying one shirt, but before you know it you end up with six of them.

Chronic Problem

An addiction to shopping is a continuous problem and one that gets worse over time.

Hiding the Problem

You tend to hide your purchases due to the financial and family problems you have already created. You want to avoid arguments with your significant other.

The Return Cycle

You might often return your purchases due to the guilt and shame you feel.

Impaired Relationships

It is not uncommon to find dysfunctional or unhealthy relationships in your home. Relationships begin to deteriorate as you spend more and more time away from home to shop, create more and more debt, cover up debt with deception, and start to isolate yourself from others as you become preoccupied with your behavior.

Consequences

Like any other addiction, compulsive shopping and spending has nothing to do with how much you shop or spend and everything to do with consequences.

Get Help

It is recommended that shopping and spending addicts seek professional counseling or a self-help group to deal with this problem. Addictive behaviors tend to come in clusters, so if you have an eating disorder, a problem with drugs or alcohol, or gambling, you may be a candidate for shopping addiction. Many communities have credit counseling centers that will also help with shopaholism.

This article was supplemented with information from www.recoveryconnection.org.