Hey, it’s me, Sophie.
Thank you for reading through the story of my shopping addiction. In this blog, I will be talking about compulsive buying disorder. What is it, and how can you identify if you have this disorder. Let’s get to it.
What is Compulsive Shopping?
Talking in medical terms, compulsive shopping is a term used to define an obsession or addiction to shopping. This obsession is so intense that it interferes with the functioning of the individual. Simply put, it is an unhealthy obsession with shopping that takes over your daily life activities. This is a psychological condition.
Early back in the days, compulsive shopping was a condition referred to as “impulsive insanity” by researchers. It was a condition that was not really paid attention to until the self-help movement documented its effects.
Compulsive shopping is an addiction that triggers pleasure in the brain. It is almost like drugs. The addiction of shopping increases due to the guilt that leads to more depression, which then leads to more shopping.
Behavioral Patterns of Shopping Addiction
Compulsive buying is a lot similar to behavioral addiction, like binge eating and gambling. Compulsive shopping, including online shopping addiction, occurs with other mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. Compulsive addiction is a condition that usually occurs in the 30s when people achieve financial independence.
Some of the patterns of shopping addiction are as follows:
- Compulsive buyers make purchases of items that they can do without. They often try to conceal their shopping habits. They spend without any reflection, and they end up having so many unopened items in their closets.
- Compulsive shoppers experience a feeling of excitement when they buy. This feeling of excitement is high when they find something they like and consider buying it. This can become addictive.
- Compulsive shopping is an attempt to fill a void such as loneliness, lack of control, or lack of self-esteem. Most of the time, an argument or frustration makes one to shop.
- Compulsive buying also happens by the feelings of remorse. They are guilty of their purchases, and therefore, they purchase more. This becomes a vicious cycle.
- Credit cards seduce the buyer to think of the positive aspects of the purchase. Therefore, CBD usually occurs in people living in developed countries where the credit card is a consumer culture.
What Kind of Problems Can Compulsive Shopping Cause?
The short term effects of compulsive shopping may seem to be positive. In a lot of cases, you may even feel happy after shopping. However, these feelings are a mixture of happiness and anxiety or guilt. This anxiety and guilt is what lead you back to the store for more shopping.
Now speaking of long term effects, it varies in intensity and scope. Many addicted shoppers face a number of financial problems and become overwhelmed with the debt they have. In some cases, they max out their credit cards, whereas in other cases, some people may take out a second mortgage on their home. An addicted shopper may even face troubles in their relationships. Their marriages may end to divorce or they end up distancing themselves from their parents or other loved ones.
How to Overcome Shopping Addiction?
Shopping addiction treatment for shopaholics does exist. Shopaholics do not have to start with a medically supervised detoxification period. Their behavioral addiction treatment starts with a period of behavior modification through different forms of therapy.
There are executive shopping addiction help programs that focus on the people who require close attention and monitoring for their addiction to shopping. An executive program includes shopping addiction support groups that engage in remote monitoring and interventions. It aims to see the patient for very limited periods of time and provides inpatient experience and work to a speedy return home.