Shopping Addiction

recovery rehabs - shopping addiction

Why is Shopping So Addicting?

Everybody shops. Tireless advertising creates a consumerist culture leading you to believe you have to have that one thing everyone else has already bought – and you have to have it now. This normalizes unnecessary spending, making compulsive buying – shopping addiction – the most socially acceptable addiction out there. The cause of this kind of dependence goes deeper than wanting to have all the latest merchandise, though. It can negatively impact your life in more ways than one – but there is hope.

Shopping Addiction: Underlying Causes

Shopping, like any other behavioral addiction, is merely a compulsion to cover up feelings of anxiety, anger, sadness, depression and more. You might feel overwhelmed at work, for example, so you start to “reward” yourself at the end of every week by going on a shopping spree. For those addicted to shopping, the simple act of making a purchase can cause a “high” much like a drug can. These compulsive sprees make you feel so good that you start shopping more and more to avoid dealing with the stressors and other difficult things in your life. As with any other addiction, this does not erase your problems. In fact, it magnifies them.

How a Shopping Addiction Can Impact Your Life

People with shopping addictions tend to spend more money than they can afford, leading to financial troubles for themselves and their families. This kind of addiction can also strain relationships, as a person might repeatedly ask a friend for money they are unable to pay back. Shopping also takes time – time away from friends and family, and possibly even work. There’s also the matter of “stuff” – it’s difficult to hide a shopping addiction from roommates, partners and spouses, as someone addicted to shopping may also feel attached to the things they buy, which can start to take up all the space in their homes.

Recovering from Shopping Addiction

A shopping addiction can put a lot of stress on you and those around you. Though you might be able to recognize that your behavior has become a problem, you might feel like you can’t stop, even though you want to. In terms of addiction, this is normal. Many people who struggle with various addictions want to recover, but can’t do so on their own. Shopping addiction may not be as common as other behavioral addictions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t seek help.

You might benefit from both financial and behavioral therapy and counseling if you feel you cannot control your spending. Getting help managing your money, changing your behavior and discussing emotional and other problems with a licensed professional can help you regain control of your life, your relationships and your happiness.

Gathering continued support from friends and family can also help you maintain a healthy relationship with shopping. It’s OK to ask a family member to do some of your shopping for you when you’re unsure if you can handle it. Explain the situation, and they will be glad to help.