Oniomania, the posh word for compulsive shopping, is as likely to take over and damage the lives of its sufferers as gambling, sex or work addictions.

This is the view of charity Action on Addiction which points out that compulsively spending time and money on something to lift a mood and seek a “high” puts it firmly in the category of addiction, and that the shopping addiction affects around 7% of the adult population.

Action on Addiction have linked with a luxury shopping website where those who want to know more about oniomania can click onto the charity’s logo to find out, but only after they have confirmed their shopping site membership and agreed to be emailed with offers to feed their addiction.

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