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Symptoms of
Compulsive Shopping

What is a Shopping Addiction?

So you may be reading this wondering how anyone can become addicted to shopping. It isn't a drink, or a drug, so how can it be an addiction? Well, it is. Someone who has a shopping addiction feels different when they shop. They feel a sense of euphoria, or happiness, the shopping actually changes their mood. It doesn't sound so bad, right? Let's say, it's the holidays and you are buying for all your family members. Maybe you are just shopping for a nice birthday gift for a friend, or buying the kids school clothes in the fall. That sounds reasonable. You're having a bad day, why don't you go out and buy yourself something nice? Well, for some people, it isn't about having a bad day, or treating themselves to something nice. It's about feeding an overwhelming desire to spend money, which in many cases can be devastating to a family's budget. This addiction is compulsive shopping, or an excessive amount of spending with no regard to the consequences.

Traits of a "Shopaholic"

Similar to an alcoholic or a drug addict, a "shopaholic" will hide their purchases or hide the receipts from their significant other. Here are some other signs you may want to look for:

  • Compulsive buying: You need a blouse, but you come home after shopping with 7 blouses.

  • Going over budget: Perhaps you have a certain amount of money set aside for spending, for example $100.00, and you spend $500.00.

  • Hiding purchases: You may be tired of being criticized by your significant other for spending too much money all the time. So, you stop telling them. You hide purchases in closets or the trunk of the car, or you lie about where you got it. You may say you received the item as a gift from a friend, rather than tell them you just spent $200.00 on a purse.

  • Hiding bills: You may find yourself opening new credit card accounts without consulting your partner and hide the bills from them. You may be transferring money from one account to another to cover the spending. Shopping addiction typically affects women, and often times the spending will exceed $20,000 in combined debts which may ultimately lead to a divorce.

Here are some other signs you may want to look for if you think you or your loved one may be suffering from shopping addiction:

  • Feeling ashamed, embarrassed or guilty after a shopping spree
  • Shopping to cover up a feeling of depression, loneliness, or anxiety
  • Buying things with credit cards because you don't have enough cash
  • Lying about money or how much money you are spending
  • Obsessively thinking about money

Shopping Addiction Treatment

If these signs sound familiar to you, you may want to consider getting help. Believe it, this is a common addiction and professional help is available to you at a California Treatment Center. If you are reading this article you have already taken a step in the right direction.




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