Also known as omniomania, shopping addiction is one of the most common behavioural addictions. With widespread consumerism, it is the most reinforced addictions with a higher percentage of the population engaging in the practice. The behaviour starts during late teens or early adulthood, and is usually accompanied with other disorders.
What are the causes of shopping addiction?
Shopping addition is believed to be caused by psychological conditions. Most people suffering from loneliness and depression are more likely to spend money so that they can relieve some of the stress. However, it is considered a symptom of deep-rooted feelings that the victim is trying to avoid.
Most shoppers hit the stores to seek excitement or approval. Others are unable to tolerate negative feelings such as fear, anger, depression or loneliness while some want to fill an inner void by buying more items.
Signs of Shopping Addiction
People addicted to shopping says it comes with a thrill that makes them even want to shop for more. This is usually different from the usual shopping thrill that comes with getting a good deal. The individual suffering from shopping addiction are not able to resist the urge to shop for more, and do not bother with the consequences of their actions.
Most shoppers will shop regardless of distress and guilt. They will suffer from tension and anxiety as they try to resist the urge to shop. However, they will end up feeling distressed or depressed because they gave into the urge. These are the same feelings will make them seek the thrill that comes with shopping, and a cycle is created.
Another sign of shopping addiction is that the spending is usually excessive and impulsive. As compared to normal shoppers, shopping addicts maintain balances that are close to the maximum limits of their credit cards. Most of them usually purchase on credit just to get the thrill.
Shopaholics usually have financial problems and big debts because of their overspending. After spending most of their money, they may start borrowing money from friends and relatives or even financial institutions in order to get more money for spending.
The main sign of shopping addiction is strained relationships with family and friends. It will also cause issues in work places. For starters, the shopping addicts do not know how to measure time when they are shopping. This will make them spend more time away from their family and friends or job. Both the absenteeism and excessive spending takes a toll on these relationships. The worst thing is that these shoppers will try to hide their behaviour from their loved ones. They will mostly hide details about the amount of money they spend or their level of date. Such secrecy will lead to rifts in relationships.
For those who suspect that they have shopping addiction, getting treatment from a doctor is recommended. They can also get financial counselling in case their spending has gone overboard. They are also advised to shop with friends that do not spend compulsively so that they can help them resist the urge to shop.