Recommended Reading: Secret Keeping: Overcoming Hidden Habits
and Addictions John Howard Prin 
(New World Library, 2006)

Shame and denial about their behavior propels many overshoppers to hide this addiction—from other people and from themselves. While Secret Keeping does not address the compulsive buyer directly, its focus on the keeping of guilt-laden secrets—and on the compromises and consequences that such a life stance mandates—is very pertinent. According to Prin, secret keepers lead double lives, risking their relationships and their reputations; they seem to “find the risks, thrills, and taboo nature of their habits too strong to resist.” Prin knows whereof he speaks. He shares with the reader his own history of living in two worlds for 40 years, richocheting between public respectability and private temptations.” Temptation, craving, the excitement of breaking rules, indulgence in the forbidden, delight in not getting caught, and guilt—these are what hold secret-keepers captive. They act one way, while feeling another; they put appearance first, reality second. Extremely motivating, Secret Keeping suggests ways to gradually replace a closed, secretive, and fear-driven life with a courageous, open, and honest one. Prin concludes that “we’re only as sick as our secrets.”

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