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Addiction has many faces dependent on the environment in which the person is in. A shopping addiction is no different from any other dependency as it preys on human emotions such as “low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, loneliness or anger” (Intili); creating various profiles of this addiction. So far, society has not acknowledged that shopping, also known as Oniomania is a legitimate disease. From the article “The Process Addictions and the New ASAM Definition of Addiction” by David Smith, he defines addiction as “a pathological process with characteristic signs and symptoms and a predictable prognosis if untreated. As a brain disease, characterized by the individual’s inability to stop a dysfunctional behavior fueled by drugs or other repeated activities despite adverse consequences.” Similar to alcohol or any other drug, what was once a way of social acceptance, then became a reoccurring destructive habit.
As science has concluded over the years every action, desire or need for something comes from the brain. Becoming an addict does not happen over-night, it is the process of trying something new and the body/mind finding it satisfactory. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, releases chemicals into the brain which is a crucial component for addicts, “[it as well] contributes to the experience of pleasure, but also plays a role in learning and memory—two key elements in the transition from liking something to becoming addicted to it” (Understanding Addiction). The effect of any kind of drug is passive once the user, unlike shopping which is constantly actively engaging the abuser, had consumed it. However, they are not completely similar they both relay on the rush of the action. Over time, the users become the abusers “they have to t...

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... (2010): 30-31. Academic Search Complete. Web. 5 Dec. 2013
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"Nothing Trivial About Shopaholics." USA Today Magazine 137.2763 (2008): 14. Academic Search Complete. Web. 6 Dec. 2013. * Shorten to Nothing Trivial*
"Understanding Addiction.” How Addiction Hijacks the Brain. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2013. .
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Larsen, James. "Real Men and Shopping." Real Men and Shopping. Customer Psychology Findings, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. .
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