Nightline Covers Shopping Addiction

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Shopping addiction is sometimes dismissed as a penchant for sales or brushed off as a minor character flaw. The reality, for some is s crippling addiction –with the same consequences as other recognized addictions. Nightline, the ABC news program may help change the misperceptions with a detailed report on one “shopaholic” and her experiences.

The report, broadcast the story of Ronnie Haring, a middle-aged mother of two. Her statement describing the experience of being a shopping addict resonates with those familiar with other types of addiction:
"It just feels so good inside," Haring said. "You're kind of floating as you're going through it and then, essentially, you just fall ... very hard. You get home and you're like, 'Why did I buy all this?' And then you feel guilty. And the way to make yourself feel better [is] more shopping. And the cycle continues."

Along with the internal struggles, her shopping has also led to the kind of financial and relationship damage expected. After maxing out her credit cards, she had to file for bankruptcy and lost her home. After 20 years of marriage, Haring may also lose her husband to the addiction.

By exposing the details of what a shopping addiction is like, perhaps others who suffer from the problem will recognize they aren’t alone, and their loved ones can get a look into this hidden world. The end result will hopefully be treatment.

The rock bottom for Haring may have been her recent arrest on shoplifting charges. This is a natural result for shopping addicts when the money runs out. It also adds an additional thrill from the risk taking. Like all who suffer from addiction, the end of the story can’t be known until many years after addicts reach out for help and get treatment.

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