Shopping Addiction: A Serious Epidemic

With too many influences in the society today, you can probably get addicted to almost anything; from TV shows, to computer games, substances or activities. Every addiction is pleasurable – precisely the reason people get addicted. They long to have that pleasing and satisfying feeling after they have indulged in such addictive activity.

When someone gets addicted to substances such as alcohol and drugs, we easily know that they are hooked. However, it is a little difficult to spot one with a shopping addiction; well at least to make one admit that he or she has such behavior. While denial is the main coping mechanism for anybody who is addicted, shopaholics (as what shopping addicts are called) often do away from being marked. They often times rationalize that their shopping is an important thing as some needs arise.

Today, there is already a fine line between a need and a want. People mistakenly perceive one for another. When we see everything as a need, we feel the obligation to buy it, as the term implies and this how the addiction begins.

Shopping addiction is something that most people in the society find hard to comprehend. Most activities done today are simply for the reason to elicit pleasure. The concept of credit cards is to provide people with the means of purchasing what they want without the actual money on hand. We are indirectly encouraged to purchase things instantly instead of saving for it – no wonder shopping addiction has become widely spread in any part of the world.

In a society where delaying self-gratification is rarely practiced, we create a big room for this type of addiction. Shopping addiction is not simply the act splurging to get gratification; it could also be in a form of finding pleasure in bargains. You see, shopping addiction has many faces.

The worse part of this addiction is when the addict drowns in financial debts just to gain that feeling of pleasure and satisfaction from shopping. Just like the other types of addiction, the addict may resort to unacceptable behaviors such as stealing, selling stuff or trading in things to get the money they need to buy the things they believe will give them gratification. When this happens, it becomes very difficult for the addict to control his behavior.

Family and friends play a very big role in influencing the life of a person suffering from this condition. They can help the person monitor his shopping binges and constantly become reminders to him or her. The best thing you can offer your loved one in this kind of addiction is the support and assurance – those that he or she falsely thinks he’d acquire from too excessive splurges.

The addict may have deeper personal issues that are the underlying causes for his or her behavior and it is important to recognize these issues in order to provide appropriate help. Some addicts feel great emptiness and have found the temporary relief of it in shopping excessively. Understanding these fundamental reasons for the behavior will greatly help the person.


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