What is the medical term for people who shop too much? (Not “shopaholic”)

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‘Tis the season for family reunions, champagne toasts, and, of course, shopping.

It’s likely that you know someone who you consider a shopaholic. Perhaps you think that she has a superhuman stamina for long lines, crowded malls, and late night purchasing. Or perhaps you think he just doesn’t know when to quit, spending way past his budget.

“Shopaholic” is, of course, informal, and usually applied with humor. There is, though, an actual medical term for people who have an uncontrollable and compulsive desire to shop: oniomania.

Oniomania comes from the Greek onios, which means “for sale,” and mania, which means “insanity.”

While those who have a fear of money don’t have to worry about excessive shopping, they most likely possess an equally difficult set of problems. Learn the name of this phobia, here.

Compulsive shopping hasn’t been studied to the same extent as other dependencies or addictions. However, some people consider it to be a very serious and widespread problem that can cause grave social, financial, and emotional effects.

What do you think? Do you know an oniomaniac? Share your experiences below. To close, click these other common fears or compulsions to learn their medical names:

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