Essay by Jacob Leth PedersenCollege, Undergraduate January 1997

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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...