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This chapter deals with clinical aspects of compulsive buying disorder (CBD). CBD must be distinguished from normal buying behavior, although the distinction is sometimes arbitrary. Frequent shopping does not by itself constitute evidence of the presence of CBD. A distinct clinical picture of the compulsive shopper has emerged. Four distinct phases of CBD have been described, including: anticipation; preparation; shopping; and spending. CBD behaviors occur all year but can be more problematic during the Christmas holidays and others, as well as around the birthdays of family members and friends. The Compulsive Buying Scale (CBS) was developed by Faber and O'Guinn to distinguish normal from pathological buyers. Psychiatric comorbidity is the rule in individuals with CBD. Some researchers suggest that CBD is related to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and others that it is related to the substance use disorders, the mood disorders, or the disorders of impulse control.
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