For some people, shopping is a necessary evil, to be done only when cupboards are bare and clothes have holes. Others find shopping for a "bargain" to be a fun and energizing activity that brings a sense of accomplishment. Yet, according to a 2006 study reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry, nearly 6% of the population indicate they have difficulty resisting shopping to the point that it creates financial and emotional problems. When people buy items they don't need or can't afford frequently enough to bring negative consequences into their lives, it can be termed an addiction.

Compulsive buying (oniomania) is diagnostically classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision as an impulse control disorder, not otherwise specified. This ...

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