Those who have a habit of shopping till they drop and max out their credit cards are often those who suffer from shopping addiction or compulsive shopping. They believe that their problems will disappear after shopping, but the truth is it will only leave them feeling worse than ever. As such, this is similar to other addictions that consist of similar characteristics, like gambling and alcoholism. Obsession, loss of control, compulsion and the consistent usage of the addiction despite the impending consequences are evident in addiction cases. In the end, those with shopping addiction suffer from increased financial debt, psychological issues and relationship problems.
The Psychological Reasons Behind Shopping Addiction
If you are suffering from emotional issues where depression, loneliness, out of control and the desire to spend money in order to feel good is felt, you are a likely candidate for shopping addiction. When you indulge yourself in the pleasure of shopping despite financial limitations, you simply try to numb any feelings of worry and problems. Unfortunately, when you continue to indulge even when you know you can not spend another dime, you may end up shoplifting too, which is a serious crime.
The addiction begins with compulsive shopping which express:
- Childhood Emotional Deprivation
- The Need To Fill An Inner Void
- Intolerance For Negative Feelings
- The Desire For Excitement And Approval
- The Need To Gain Control
- Impulsive And Compulsive
The behavior worsens after some time, which eventually turns into a shopping addiction. The emotions and behaviors associated to the addiction are:
- The combination of anxiety and euphoria when shopping
- A common reaction to anger, fear, stress and disappointment
- Purchasing items for no other reason, except to spend
- Severe remorse or guilt about shopping despite promise to change
- An obsession with finances and credit cards about how much can still be spent and have spent in order to continue shopping
- Finding creative ways to ensure the habit of shopping continues despite financial barriers
- Constant lying to family and friends about shopping habits
Treatments For Shopping Addiction
Just like any other addiction problem, you can recover by simply seeking treatment from a professional or addiction center. When you seek treatment earlier, you will be able to avoid having to face serious issues with debt and even possible shoplifting charges, or arguments with the family and friends.
If you prefer to handle your addiction on your own, you can:
- Get support from a trusted friend
- Reduce temptations
- Write out shopping lists and stick to it when out shopping
- Always think about things you need and thing you want. Focus on your needs
- Wait for a certain period of time or hours before purchasing
- Engage in other fun activities or hobbies
- Find other ways to deal with emotional problems
- Look for online forums you can read through
Compulsive Shopping Prevention
Aside from treating yourself for shopping addiction on your own or seeking treatments from professionals, you can also follow a prevention plan.
- Destroy all your credit cards except the one you need for emergencies
- Always pay purchased items by cash or debit card
- Stay away from shopping channels and catalogs
- Only window shop when you leave your wallet at home or when the shops are almost closing
- When shopping at discount stores, always bring a limited amount of cash and try to maximize your shopping spree
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Valerie Howards is a freelance writer specializing in lifestyle and shopping behaviors. She regularly writes articles, such as this post, to lifestyle and shopping websites where bail bonds assistance may be sought.