Do you budget your spending? Or are you addicted to shopping? Research shows that shopping addiction affects mainly women while alcoholism affects men. Items which top a woman’s shopping list are clothes, makeup and jewelery.
You may have an internet shopping addiction if you spend a major part of your time online shopping for alluring products that seem just a mouse click away. If the only channel you watch on the telly is the home network, you could be at risk for a home network shopping addiction.
Causes Of Shopping Addiction
Shopoholics get a high from an addictive behavior like shopping. During shopping sprees endorphins and dopamine, naturally occurring opiate receptor sites in the brain get switched on making the person feel good. The nicer this feeling is the person is likely to shop more. ”
To capitalize on this compulsive shopping instinct - shops display similar items alluringly side by side - making customers pick up what they want or desire rather than what they need being quite oblivious of the fact that one’s money is after all limited.
Shopping addiction is rooted in complex psychological reasons. Shopping may just be a means of escapism from the realities of life and its accompanying problem - an outlet to anger, depression, anxiety, boredom or loneliness.
Shopping cures none of your woes. It just seems to provide some instant relief. The long-term effects of shopping addiction can include debt and damage to close relationships.
Like most addictions, shopping addiction may be the result of trying to fill a void in your life with materialistic things, and gives only temporary happiness.
How To Treat Your Shopping Addiction
Treatment for compulsive shopping is like any other addiction. Shopping addiction may be treated with psychotropic drugs and counseling.
Here are some simple tips to recover from a shopping addiction:
- Be honest and admit you have a problem.
- Take professional help and speak to wise and empathetic non-shopoholic friends who can offer unbiased moral support and positive encouragement to help you overcome your addiction.
- Chalk out a budget and ascertain a fixed amount, which you can spend on your personal shopping. Categorize items on your shopping list as necessities, comforts and luxuries with the help of your therapist. Try to minimize expenses on luxuries and judiciously monitor purchases of comforts.
- With the help of a mental health professional identify all the stages in the compulsive buying cycle- the triggers, feelings, dysfunctional thoughts, typical behavior and consequences. Try to break the vicious cycle of shopping sprees.
- Try to keep credit and debit cards just for emergencies. These cards just add fuel to fire in your shopping addiction. In fact canceling them won’t be a bad idea.
- Don’t subscribe to shopping catalog's. Don’t even visit sales or discount warehouses as they may make you spend more in the long run. Avoid watching shopping programs on TV and try not to obsess over advertisements in magazines and newspapers. Divert your attention when you come across such advertisements. Also avoid window-shopping as before long you may end up in purchasing what you covet for but can’t really afford.
- Keep yourself busy throughout the day in work and various other hobbies. Don’t allow shopping to be your major or only hobby.
- Try to be farsighted. Understand that saving money will help you to buy an asset your family really wants in the future - a house or a car – or be used for emergencies and dry days.
Pallavi Bhattacharya is a freelance journalist with Naaree.com, the magazine for the new Indian woman . She writes for many other leading Indian publications and relishes the freedom of expression through her journalistic pursuits, which is her means of self-discovery and understanding life. This article may be reprinted as long as all links are hyperlinked.