Managing Shopping Addiction Before It Spirals Out of Control

English: Retail therapy at Withybush Out of to...

English: Retail therapy at Withybush Out of town shopping arrives at Haverfordwest with the opening of these two fashion chains next just south of Withybush Hospital; another shopping area is under development to the north of it as well. You might as well shop before you drop! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Shopping is easily one of America’s popular pastimes but unfortunately for some people, women to be precise, it can quickly spiral out of control and become a shopping addiction. Shopping as an addiction ends up being destructive in most cases because of its financial implications. There has not been concrete proof about what cause shopping addiction, but there are several ways to identify this behavior in loved ones and stop it from going out of control.

The reason why most people get addicted to shopping is because of the good feeling they get out of making new purchases. It is even referred to as ‘retail therapy’ and most turn to shopping as distraction from any negative feelings or situations that they may be facing. Soon, some individuals end up relying on shopping to escape the realities of their feelings.

Shopaholism or oniomania, as it is clinically called, starts often with small purchases but soon when the victim is faced with the problem of having to explain the many purchases they make to loved ones they start hiding the things they buy. There are ways to know that a loved one has a shopping addiction including always going over budget, buying items they do not need, always buying uncontrollably and always being in debt. A loved one always being in deep debt is a clear indication that they have a problem and need help.

If these indications of an addiction to shopping are noted, it is important to seek professional help for the victim. It is always best to start off with an intervention and then seek credit counseling. It is also wise to note that as an addiction which does not have a medical cause there is no set standard on how to treat it. However, seeking professional help can narrow down on what triggered the addiction so that it can be managed. In most case, antidepressants are prescribed to tackle depression which most addicts have been found to suffer from.

It is also important to understand that just like any other addiction, there is no quick-fix treatment for shopping addiction. Some forms of treatment may fail and it is important to try out different alternatives. However, credit counseling is an important aspect in any treatment approach chosen to help the victim understand the financial implications of their condition and possibly learn to handle their finances and consequently deal with the problem.

There are patients who have been advised to take on self-proposed shopping ban or have their finances handled by someone else. For some, it is also advisable to give up on the use of credit cards and checkbooks which have been known to simplify the ease of impulse shopping. This goes towards helping curb the individual’s impulse spending habits and progressively handling the problem.

Shopping with the affected party is also another way to curb their compulsiveness. Most people suffering from an addiction to shopping end up shopping excessively when they are alone. A shopping addiction can also be controlled by finding alternative and productive ways to spend time other than shopping.


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