Obsessive Compulsive Shopping (02:46)
Essex therapist Michelle Rees helps fund the U.K.'s multi-trillion pound retail industry. She compares her addiction to craving a cigarette. Clothing, shoes, and accessories have taken over her home.
Compulsive Behavior (01:47)
Obsessive shopping has been linked to past events or emotional trauma. Michelle divorced and lost her mother around the same time; she's trying to curb her retail habits.
Princess Treatment (03:59)
In New Orleans, Andrea Phillips is addicted to designer labels. She funds her obsession by dating older men, who have spent $1 million on clothing, shoes, and bags—for herself and her dog. She expresses an insatiable desire for new things.
Designer Addiction (03:57)
London model Chloe-Jasmine Whichello is drawn to the aesthetics of high end brands. Her collection is housed in her apartment and her parent's home, and she spends most of her income on her wardrobe.
Cash Dependent (02:22)
Wealthy suitors fund Andrea's shopping addiction. Attracted to aesthetics, she buys hats and clothing she'll never wear. Her collection overflows into a storage space and she values her possessions as she does her dog.
Developing Willpower (03:53)
Michelle wants to end her shopping addiction. She's working on just browsing at second hand shops, but temptation overcomes her and she relapses. She hopes to reach a point of stopping completely.
Shopping Spree (04:53)
Andrea recently worked as a TV extra, an experience that showed how spoiled she is by wealthy boyfriends. She spends seven hours in a New Orleans mall, where she receives customized service as a frequent buyer and purchases luxury items she considers necessary.
High on Shopping (02:57)
Former stock broker Helen McNallen lost her home and husband to a retail addiction. It served to fill a confidence void; she describes feeling physically euphoric when making a purchase and depressed and sick afterward.
Eating vs. Looking Fabulous (02:06)
Chloe-Jasmine feels like Alice in Wonderland when entering designer shops. As a fashion model, she's used to being surrounded by beautiful things and spends 80% of her income on clothes.
Retail Adrenaline (02:10)
Chloe-Jasmine feels superhuman while shopping and admits it has addictive properties.
Downward Spiral (02:17)
Helen's shopping sprees put her into debt as she tried to regain feelings of self worth. She remortgaged her house to purchase increasingly extravagant items, including art and cars. After four years, her husband filed for divorce.
Never Ending Retail Habits (02:33)
Andrea's boyfriend encourages her spending habits. After seven hours at the mall, she's spent $1,100 but feels unfulfilled. Her lifestyle is the only thing making her happy.
Liberation Through Retail (02:29)
Essex chef Charleston-James discusses his shopping addiction. After coming out to his parents, his best friend took him on a shopping spree to celebrate—an event triggering compulsive behavior. His parents have covered his debts but don’t approve of his spending.
Shopping and Identity (01:42)
Charleston-James' best friend Jenny accompanies him to the mall but is concerned about his spending habits. He feels that shopping is part of who he is, as a gay man, and relies on his parents to bail him out of debt.
Recovered Shopaholic (02:34)
Helen received counseling, after losing her marriage and home to her retail addiction. She now lives in the country and hopes to pay her ex-husband back. In contrast, Chloe-Jasmine believes she'll stop caring about herself if she gives up shopping.
Credits: I'm a Shopaholic—Can't Stop: When Compulsion Rules Your Life (00:34)
Credits: I'm a Shopaholic—Can't Stop: When Compulsion Rules Your Life
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