Addiction to Shopping
By: Christina Santini
Compulsive Shopping - The Basics
Why a shopping addiction? The Start.
A Shopping High
- Family or friends who notice that the shopping addiction has become extreme may want to form an intervention to help that person get professional help if they do not realize their problem on their own.
- Debtors Anonymous is a 12 step program to help the person addicted understand what is happening and how to stop it.
- The addiction can be treated with behavioral therapy and individual counseling. This is affective because they can learn to identify triggers and develop impulse control.
- To better address the problem, they may need to understand if there are deeper emotional problems that the shopping addiction is stemming from. Things such as depression can lead to a shopping addiction.
- In order to prevent shopping, the person can have a self proposed ban on shopping. Other times, those more seriously addicted may need to have someone else in control of their finances.
Impact of being Addicted
- Their need for shopping can cause them to spend a majority of their money without maintaining a budget.
- They will use credit cards instead of cash. This will lead to them feeling as if they can buy anything where in reality they cannot afford what they buy. Even if they realize this, they will continue to feel the desire to shop.
- Spending more time focusing on their need for shopping and away from home can cause a strain on the relationship.
- If their spending leads to debt, a complication of budgeting, and paying for necessities, their relationship with their significant other may struggle.
Life Revolving Around Money
- They may constantly be thinking about money and how their most recent shopping spree affected their budget.
- They may be juggling accounts and bills in order to accommodate their spending and other necessities.
Almost 6% of Americans report having a shopping addiction problem according to a Psychiatrist Times survey conducted in 2006. These percentages were about equal for men and women, being 5.5% and 6%. This shows that men are just as susceptible as women to become addicted to shopping.
These following statistics were from a poll of a large group of randomly selected people willing to tell uncover their shopping habits. There were surprisingly high percentages revealed for many of the signs and symptoms of compulsive shopping for this sample group.
Warning Signs of a Shopping Addiction:
- 36.7% experienced feelings of guilt or shame after they go shopping
- 20.5% hid purchases from their families
- 26.7% check their available credit at least once a week
- 47.4% said they experience a rush of excitement when they go shopping
- 24.4% admitted they have items in their closets that are still in shopping bags or have price tag
- 31.7% of respondents said they frequently purchase things just because they’re on sale
- 18.1% said they often purchase items that they don’t need or didn’t plan to buy when they set out to shop
- Almost 11% said they frequently shop to improve their mood
- 18.5% said they have frequent arguments over money with their significant other or family member due to shopping
- 19.1 percent said their main reason for using credit cards is to pay for items when they don’t have enough money
Most people who are classified as compulsive buyers or have an addiction seem to be motivated by internal drivers. Similar to other addictions, shopping fills a void and it acts as if it is solves our personal problems. Debtors Anonymous has helped discover this and also that people facing a shopping addiction tend to have low self-esteem, a tendency towards fantasizing, and to be vulnerable to depression and high anxiety.
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