Compulsive shopping: When spending is like substance abuse

By Elizabeth Landau

Compulsive Shopping(CNN) — The purse was by designer Baby Phat, and it was only $5. But when Elizabeth Deiter bought it at the thrift store where she works, she immediately had to run over to the bank and deposit money to avoid running a negative balance.

She and her husband only recently caught up on their rent, after four or five months, and Deiter has close to 100 purses already, but she still went for the bargain. In thinking about this and other splurges on things she didn’t need, Deiter has begun to consider herself a compulsive shopper.

“I am ashamed of it,” says Deiter, 22, of Reading, Pennsylvania. “I’ve screwed up a lot. I know I should stop.”

With holiday season discounts running rampant online and in stores, it’s especially easy to fall into the trap of overspending this month, especially if you have a problem with impulse control at the mall. But beyond carelessness with finances, compulsive shopping is a mental disorder that psychologists recognize, although it has not been studied extensively.

Full story at CNN

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Energy drinks cause problems for some

By Dinah Voyles Pulver

Kids Drinking Energy DrinksTempting promises lure buyers from the attractive cans of energy drinks on convenience store shelves: power, energy, endurance.

In a fast-paced lifestyle, where teens and adults alike often rush from one thing to another, those promises boosted energy drinks to wild popularity over the past decade, with sales rising more than 200 percent. However, a new report from the National Institutes of Health indicates emergency room visits related to the highly caffeinated drinks — often for rapid heartbeat and other side effects — also soared.

There’s no doubt the popularity of the drinks is rising, said Dr. Peter Springer, director of the emergency department at Halifax Health.

“Just talking to the younger adults, even high school kids, that’s their big deal,” Springer said. “They’re not eating lunch and they’re substituting these drinks.”

Full story at News Journal

Five secret truths about alcoholics and addicts

Auburn Pub

Secrets About Alcoholics and AddictsYou’d be surprised at the secrets addicts and alcoholics keep. Some are hard to comprehend, others downright dangerous. Here are five of the most common ones:

Addicts and alcoholics are profoundly ashamed.

Ashamed of what they have done. Ashamed of what they have neglected to do. They can’t believe they sat there in that bar, crack house or heroin den all night when they should have been at their kid’s birthday party. Hell, there isn’t even money left to buy a present. No one judges the addict as severely as they themselves do. They remember the lying, cheating and stealing. Many live with the shame of having sold their body and soul to all comers for one more hit. Total strangers. Unwashed. Unbelievable. Remembering all this can actually be a good thing. Because who wants to return to such a miserable existence? Both treatment and the 12 steps help deal with shame that, if left unattended, can drive a relapse. Sure, I’ve had plenty of clients with nary a drop of shame. They are the ones who really worry me. They come into treatment, do their time and leave unchanged. A little shame can be a good thing. It speaks volumes about morals and values.

They’re in recovery.

Full story at Auburn Pub

Steven Tyler: Substance abuse ‘not the issue’

By Inside Track

Steven Tyler Substance AbuseBruised and battered Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler yesterday insisted that his fall in a hotel shower in Paraguay was not accompanied by a fall off the wagon!

“It’s not the issue,” said Tyler during a call into Matt Lauer yesterday morning on “Today” from Buenos Aires.

“People thinking that is natural and normal, it still bothers me,” said the “American Idol” judge, who went public a few months ago about tripping on his 12 steps. “But it’s something I have to deal with for the rest of my life.

“We flew last night from Paraguay after that incident and (now) we’re in Argentina for two hours. And anyone knows anyone who uses substances wouldn’t be up at this hour having a talk with Matt Lauer and the rest of America.

Full story at Boston Herald