What is a Shopping Addiction?

A shopping addiction is not the fun it seems. This addiction affects your relationships as well as your bank account. This is compulsive spending. Can you resist a bargain? Learn to stop being addicted to spending - stop the addiction and be debt free.

A shopping addiction affects your relationships and your bank account. Can you resist a bargain? Stop being addicted to spending and be guilt and debt free.
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Is this you?

You go on shopping binges. Winter boot sale – must have. You went for 1 pair and bought more than you expected.

When you’re feeling down, you pick yourself up with ‘retail therapy’.

Like a drug addict or an alcoholic, you get a ‘rush’ with compulsive spending.

You come home with articles that you don’t even need or want.

You know your compulsive spending can be out of your control.

A shopping addiction is similar to all the other addiction – food, alcohol, gambling, compulsive sex, etc. ~and as with other addictions, this one can drive you and everyone else crazy.

When a shopper is on a binge they’ll fill up their carts with just about anything. They think that their purchases will make them happy, but they’re just compensating for something else that’s missing in their lives.

The compulsive shopper may be in a loveless relationship, lonely, depressed, angry, there are many reasons that they temporarily want to zone out of the real world, but the end result is worse.

After the ‘high’ of compulsive spending there is a low. You have to deal with the consequences, the bills, the debt and the explanations.

There’s no escape from the real world – and for those with a shopping addiction, the things that brought them such excitement when they were bought, now are meaningless.

A shopping addiction is only a temporary escape from anxiety, anger, etc. for what’s really going on in life. But there is help.


Warning signs of Shopping Addiction

         Shopping or spending money as result of feeling disappointed, angry, or scared

         Shopping or spending habits causing emotional distress in one's life

         Having arguments with others about one's shopping or spending habits

         Feeling lost without credit cards

         Buying on credit that would not be bought with cash

         Feeling a rush of euphoria and anxiety when spending money

         Feeling guilty, ashamed, embarrassed, or confused after shopping or spending money

         Lying to others about purchases made or how much money was spent

         Thinking excessively about money

         Spending a lot of time juggling accounts or bills to accommodate spending

 Identification with 4 or more of the above behaviors indicates a possible problem with shopping or spending.

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 For the addict, shopping and spending is associated with a feeling of happiness and power, but after-effects of remorse and guilt drive the spender back to spend again, to achieve that brief, but intense high. 

 Research has shown that many compulsive shoppers and spenders also suffer from mood disorders, substance abuse, or eating disorders.  As with any addiction, the person becomes dependent on the behavior to relieve negative feelings that cause distress and discomfort. 

Compulsive shopping or spending may also result in interpersonal, occupational, family, and financial problems in one's life.  Impairment in relationships may occur as a result of excessive spending and efforts to cover up debt or purchases. 

The addict may experience anxiety or depression as a result of the spending or shopping, which may interfere with work or school performance.  Financial problems may occur if money is borrowed or there is excessive use of credit to make purchases. 

Often the extent of the financial damage is discovered only after the shopper or spender has accumulated a large debt that necessitates a drastic change in lifestyle to resolve.

Source: American Psychiatric Association

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