Addictions stay as long as they are needed. I believe it is a substitute for other longings. Ofcourse the denial of love or some sense in life being one of the main triggers. Her shopping probably gave her a sense of control over something, control that she needs somewhere else, but she did not have it there. Addictions depend on playing hide and seek, most know that they are addicted, but do not want to be discovered. But there is a way out. But it has to come from within. The problem is that most face a guilt feeling they have to overcome by realizing the problem, they must ask themselves how they got into this situation that nobody is happy with, and then forgive the self. I think help a person getting out is distraction, change something in this persons life, and lots of patience.