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Are you a shopaholic?

Shopaholics found their compulsion to spend by creating false identities to obtain more creditcards. They often hide bank statements from their spouses and try in any way possible to conceal their abuse. In some extreme cases shopaholics has even turned prostituted in order to finance their spending.


The group Walletwatch was made by Lawrence Michaels who is a Shopaholic. He spends thou-sands of pounds on albums he don´t like and clothes which don´t fit him. The reason why he started the group was because he wanted to help other people who have the same tendencies as himself. Walletwatch was started because shopaholics need to be under some kind of surveillance.


Richard Elliot wanted to proof that Britain was les consumption-minded than the US. But what he found out was quite different. He found many examples of consumption-crazy Britons who had ran up huge bills and driven their family into oppressive debt. Another thing he found out was that their shopping was used as a therapy to give their mood a lift. They got their support from shop assis-tants. This may be one way of buying social support.


Shopaholics is becoming a more and more frequently known disease. It is not only found in the US, but all over the world including Denmark. In Britain a nation wide survey revealed that addicts will stop at nothing to found their desire to spend money. They will do anything from stealing to prosti-tution. One out of 20 adults is found to be obsessed by spending. But why do people become sho-paholics?

I think when you are being a shopaholic you often don´t realise it or won´t admit it. At one time or another though will you find out that you spend too much money on things you don´t even need. Most people love spending money this is one cause of shopaholism, another could be that shopping is used as therapy to better ones mood and confidence.

Richards Elliots study of 63 shopaholics show that shopaholics are more likely to suffer from a lack of self-esteem or confidence. They use shopping as a form of social support, which they get from the shop-assistants. Afterwards they feel guilty of cause, risking both life and marriage, but this normally doesn’t stop them.

I think we all have an urged to go crazy and start throwing money around. There is a shopaholic in every on of us, who haven´t tried buying thinks they dont really need. I see shopaholics as people who have trouble controlling themselves. It is the same way with alcoholics. Most people like a beer once in a while but alcoholics over do it. They have problems that I would determine to be self-control.

I feel sorry for shopaholics and therefore I think it is a great idea with these self-help groups. These groups may the only way out of shopaholism.


61 Whitehouse Way

Souhgate London N14 7LX

Mr. Richard Elliott

The Management School

Lancaster University

Lancaster LA 4YX 4. July 1994

Dear Mr. Elliott

We have read the article concerning shopaholics in the Sunday Express, and we have become aware

of Your research on this subject.

Therefore our self-help group would like too invite you to London to give a lecture in this illness.

We are interested in knowing more about the results you have discovered during your research, and

we would also ask you to focus on the cause of this so-called shopping mania.

We are 20 shopaholics in the group. We meet 1 or 2 a week to talk about our abuse of consumption

and discuss in which way we can help each other best. We all need to bolster our self-esteem up, and

that is why we have used shopping as a kind of therapy.

The group represents different sort of work and all social classes: We have bank managers, techni-cians, and house wifes and people from both the middle- and working classes. But despite the dif-ferences we all agree about one thing: We want to get out of our abuse!

We hope that you can accept our invitation, and if you can, then please call us on phone no. 081-361 2411, so that we can arrange a time for your lecture.

Yours Sincerely

Lawrence Michaels
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