Alcohol, heroin and weed addiction is quite popular, but do you know how addictive can shopping be? Though “money saved, is money earned”, there are some people who cannot resist buying themselves things, they do not even need or fancy; it’s just for a momentary kick (and what’s worse, they do not even realize it!). With online shopping and the rampant use of credit cards, it’s even harder to stay in control.
Modern culture emphasizes materialism which further worsens the problem. People have become impatient and suffer from low self worth.
Early signs of addiction include-
- Inability to prevent oneself from making new purchases
- Conflict with near ones about issues pertaining to expenditures
- LYING about spending/shopping
- Taking huge debt for the purpose
- Not mindful of other consequences
Jon Grant who is a professor of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota defines it very well. He says, “They might get a lot of enjoyment from buying the item, but by the time they get home, they’re uninterested.. It’s not about the acquisition of the item itself, it’s about the experience of acquiring it, they get a rush from it.”
One of the crucial things to observe when it comes to shopping addiction is that sometimes, people resort to it when they feel emotionally deprived or unloved. Therefore, it is not a sickness of intellect; it’s a sickness of emotion.
There are various therapies that will help you fight this problem-
1. Cognitive therapy- this treatment helps the sufferer to alter their process of though and prevents them from thinking about shopping.
2. Behavioral therapy- this treatment changes the negative behavior (example- poor spending) into positive behavior.
3. Financial counseling- This helps the compulsive shopper to get back on track and curtail overspending.
4. Medication- At times, shopping might result from anxiety, depression or other illnesses, and can therefore, be treatable with the right medicine.
5. Self help Guides- Self help books will assist and guide shoppers in getting rid of this problem.
Other Ways to Help you Fight this Obsessive Shopping Addiction-
1. Identify what triggers shopping
Different people have different trigger areas. Most common amongst them are boredom, anger, sadness, shame, and guilt. Document your feelings in a journal and track what causes you to shop.
2. Develop healthy interests and replace them with shopping
An emotionally, creatively and intellectually superior alternative is essential to break the habit of shopping. But, don’t just trade it with another addiction. It will not help in the long run. See what matters more to you than just spending and buying. What is of more worth and value? Your parents, friends, spouse, kids, security! Now ponder over how your mindless shopping will destroy your most valued relationships.
3. What need does shopping fulfill?
Reckless shopping will only fulfill a psychological purpose-and not a functional purpose. So figure out what need does shopping drive? It provides pleasure, or helps you in avoiding pain? For example, what do you feel while making the purchase- excitement, rush, stimulation, variety or a temporary relief from loneliness, anxiety, melancholy, fear, etc.? Be open-minded and seek the root of this problem. It will be a major step towards fighting the issue.
4. Transform your environment
Let’s simplify this so that you will understand better. If an alcoholic decides to snack at his favorite bar just to test his willpower, do you think he will be able to resist it? Similarly, it wouldn’t make any sense for a shopaholic to chill at shopping malls. Avoid malls, departmental stores or the local market. Also, it would help to stay away from television, magazines and newspaper supplements, as they hold advertisements of new stores and sales (basically, the idea is to remove all cues from your environment).
5. Get help and support from your loved ones
Kicking away a habit becomes easier when you know you’ve got support. Friends, family and other fellow shopaholics will be happy to help.
6. Other things to keep in mind
For all your purchases, pay through cash; make yourself a shopping list and don’t divulge from it, keep only one credit card, avoid going to clearance sales places that offer discounts and deals, strictly window shop, stay away from online shopping! After all, what the eye does not see, the heart does not grieve over!