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When You Can't Stop Shopping 
 
by Rita Templeton June 17, 2005

What can I do to get help?

True shopaholics will not be able to kick the habit alone: they require professional help. First things first – admit that you’re facing a problem, and gather a support system around you. Admitting it, and asking for assistance, is half the battle! Realize that this is a serious problem, as serious and overwhelming as addiction to drugs or alcohol, and that it’s going to take a lot of time and effort – and a genuine desire to change – to remedy the situation. You can find help at any clinic or psychologist that deals with addictions, even if their main clientele is predominantly made up of substance abusers; if they don't deal with compulsive shopping, they will certainly know where to direct you. Or you may simply ask your family healthcare provider. Professionals may administer medications such as antidepressants to combat the underlying emotional problems, and possibly combine the treatment with traditional cognitive-behavioral therapy. In worst-case scenarios, you’ll need to turn over your finances to someone else to control for a while, with the help of a credit or debt counselor. And even after receiving treatment, you’ll still be tempted sometimes; there’s no magic cure for any sort of addiction, only ways of learning to manage it effectively and keep it under control.

I’m not exactly a shopaholic, but I would like to gain better control of my spending. How do I go about it?

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