How To Cut Down Your Shopping Addiction

How To Cut Down Your Shopping Addiction

How To Cut Down Your Shopping Addiction - Tips To Stop And Treat Compulsive Shopping Addiction » Tips For Stopping Shopping AddictionShopping addiction is a problem that many people, particularly women, face and is often referred to as compulsive or behavioral addiction or disorder. Also termed as Omniomania, it is a situation where a person struggles to stop his / her desire for shopping, but cannot do so because of their addiction for shopping. Due to this, the result is often huge debt and financial crunch.

How to recognize shopping addiction?

Shopping, which is usually an enjoyable experience, becomes an addiction, when this pleasurable act becomes a compulsion for a person. Despite trying hard to stop reckless spending, they fail to change their behavior. If someone dear to you faces this kind of problem, you can try to look for the following signs:

A compulsive buyer generally hides his purchases and remains in fear of being discovered. They would juggle bills to get money for shopping and mostly lie about their spending pattern, avoid accompanying anyone and love to shop alone. They cannot stop themselves even from spending for items that they can’t afford. They seem to be very much possessive about their credit cards. They go for shopping when they have a fight with their family members or when they are lonely or depressed.

Shopping addiction is not at all a new disorder. It had been recognized as a psychiatric disorder far back in early nineteenth and twentieth century. However, due to widespread consumerism, it has come to light even more prominently in today’s society.

Online shopping is another addictive component, which is increasing the number of shopping addicts day by day and raising concern. Shopping addiction like other disorders such as anxiety disorder, personality disorder, eating disorder and other impulsive disorder often co-occurs in life.

Difference between compulsive shopping & normal shopping

Almost everyone likes to shop. Normally we shop within our budget and buy things we want to use. While for a compulsive shopper, shopping becomes the main way to cope with stress to the extent that they continue to shop, even if it leaves a negative impact on their personal and social life.

Similar to other addiction like gambling and shoplifting, they are unable to restrict themselves from shopping, though it ruins their finances and personal relationships.

Causes of Addiction

Mostly shopping addicts turn to shopping to cope with stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness and anger; but there may be other underlying reasons which a psychiatrist can understand after counseling.

Is shopping addiction truly an addiction?

There are differences of opinion among professionals about whether compulsive buying should be considered as an addiction at all. Like other compulsive disorders such as gambling, eating disorder, mood and personality disorder, shopping addiction shares some similar characteristics with them.

Shopping addicts also like to maintain secrecy like other addicts and get intense pleasure in carrying out their activity secretly. Like other addicts, shopping addicts devote their time and money and come out of stress or individual problems, just like a gambler tries a bet and gets momentary pleasure in betting. In this way, researchers come to the conclusion that compulsive shopping is undeniably an addiction.

Shopping addicts like other addicts follows a particular addictive pattern of thinking. They usually plan secret shopping trips that provide them immense pleasure and they come out from negative feelings like boredom, depression, anxiety, anger, loneliness and low self-esteem for the time being. Often the items they purchase are useless and hoarded. It’s a vicious circle. As soon as the momentary pleasure is over, they fall into their previous mental state and start planning their next shopping journey.

Consequences of Shopping Addiction

Shopping addiction may last for a certain amount of time, but it can leave long lasting effects, not only in the addict’s life but also to his family and friends. There can be serious consequences like tension in the family, calls from debt collectors, legal actions, ruining of family prestige, financial hardship, breakdown of relationships, humiliation in society and a lot more.

Shopping Addiction Treatment

Shopping addiction is as bad as drug or alcohol addiction and it may become a serious obsession if left untreated. There are effective ways to treat this problem. Here are a few of them.

If a shopping addict is suffering from obsessive – compulsive disorder or depression, psychiatric treatment can help. Medication can help to control impulsive behavior as a part of the treatment. Visiting the therapist can improve the condition.

Regular counseling can help to know the root cause of addictive behavior and help the addict to stop using shopping as a way to deal with other problems in their lives. Counseling will help them to agree that they are compulsive buyers and they need to change their habit.

For more serious patients, doctors may prescribe anti-depressants. After evaluating the disorder, they may suggest psychotherapy, group therapy or individual counseling.

Subliminal messaging is also considered a cure for this addiction. This is done by aligning the subconscious mind by using subliminal messages. These messages help the addict to overcome the addiction by controlling their impulse.

If you recognize that you are getting addicted to shopping, this is what you can do:

First of all, never buy anything impulsively. Make a shopping list of necessary items, and do not buy things that are not on the list. Never shop alone. Try to take someone who is not too fond of shopping. He will restrict you from buying unnecessary things.

Internet shopping is a big trap to become shopping addicts. So, stay away from online shopping, however attractive the deal may appear to be. These offers are extremely tempting and gradually you can become addicted to it. If you really need something from the web, search for one item only along with your family. When there are different opinions, one can’t fall victim to these so called tempting offers.

Instead of going for shopping, try some other alternative to entertain yourself, such as meeting friends, joining social groups, doing exercise, or doing some creative work. Spending the leisure time in activities like gardening, art work etc. can restrict you from getting addicted to shopping.

Discuss with your doctor your problem frankly. Also take financial counseling if you are running in debts. Restrict yourself from using credit card, taking loan, using checkbooks which fuel the addiction all the more.

Psychologists today recognize the problem faced by compulsive shoppers and develop therapies which can help them adopt other healthy habits. They try to identify what triggers this behavior and treat patient accordingly.

Family support can help a compulsive shopper to come out of this problem more easily. Instead of blaming or seeing their behavior as a character flaw, helping them to cope with their stress, spending quality time with them, caring for them and arranging early counseling can be very helpful.


Tags: Compulsive shopping, compulsive shopping addiction treatment, Shopping addiction, signs of shopping addiction,

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