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Monday, June 4, 2012

Memantine: Drug for Compulsive Shopping?

Day 156
Memantine: Drug for Compulsive Shopping?

A brief Sunday morning news segment on Good Morning America caught my ear. A drug that curbs compulsive shopping? I had heard that anti-depressants are sometimes prescribed for compulsive shoppers, but this drug is different. Memantine is generally prescribed for Alzheimer's patients. My first (very scattered) thought was: will it make you forget what you purchased? "The drug helps people with Alzheimer's disease think more clearly by reducing overactivity in the brain. But it also eases impulsivity, a trait tied to rash decisions and impractical purchases." Read the entire memantine article here.

I am not sure if I actually am a compulsive shopper. By definition, compulsive shopping means buying a bunch of stuff without regard to the consequences. I am sure I have bought things and felt really bad about it later so this may apply. Furthermore, the definition can include those who make "last minute, unnecessary purchases." This could include just about anyone in a grocery store line so I think we'll stick with the first part.

OK-- so I used to buy a lot of clothes and shoes without regard for my actual need, the true quality of the items and if I could really afford it. Hi, my name is Rebecca and I'm a compulsive shopper. My quest for a cure led me to this one year no-buy challenge, cold-turkey, if you will. I have been very successful thus far but at some point (January 1, 2013) I will have to buy clothes again and to be honest, I am not sure what will happen. Will one year off be enough to curb the compulsion? Will I fall back into my old routines? 

I am approaching the half-way point of this challenge and up until now, it has been mostly about dealing with not buying and being happy with what I have. At some point, I will start to think post-challenge and come up with some strategies to avoid being thrust back into the depths of compulsive buying. I highly encourange anyone struggling with a shopping compulsion to try this defined period of "time off". A month, 6 months, or like me, a year. But if all else fails, perhaps we can try memantine ...

Note: side effects for memantine include: extreme tiredness, dizziness, confusion, headache, sleeplessness, constipation, vomiting, pain, coughing and sometimes, hallucinations. A good sale can also bring on some of these same side effects.

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