Spendaholism, compulsive buying, compulsive shopping disorder, overspending, overshopping, shopaholism. It's as real as alcoholism and just as destructive. It can contribute to hoarding. And it's winked at, even grossly encouraged, around the world. "Just a girl's night out." "A boy and his toys." Black Friday. Only 30 days 'til Christmas. And, as I've posted elsewhere, it has deep and sinister roots.
There are resources for people who suffer from this illness. This isn't a comprehensive list, and it's not in any particular order, but it's a good start.
Dr. April Lane Benson's books: To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop, and I Shop, Therefore I Am: Compulsive Buying and the Search for Self. I also review these books in a post.
The BBC show Spendaholics. This is a humane, careful, thoughtful, even on occasion amusing reality show which leads overshoppers on eye-opening, sometimes painful journeys of self-discovery so they can gain self-awareness and self-control tools to curb their destructive impulses.
Spenders Anonymous - modeled on 12-step programs.
Debtors Anonymous - modeled on 12-step programs.