Shopping addiction or compulsive buying disorder which is characterized by excessive spending and purchase of items. It is a behavior that is related to over spending and shopping for things that are not necessary, and they could have harmful and dangerous consequences on any person involved in it.
Although, there are people who see shopping as a way to be relieved from negative feelings such as depression, anxiety, anger and so on, but little do they know that the relief is ephemeral and damages are likely to occur in the long run.
Like all other addictions, shopping addiction can negatively impact a person’s life. It is a significant problem that has both emotional and financial consequences. Shopping addiction is initially prompted with the neutral need to overcome challenges such as depression to solve an issue of low self-esteem. The failure of shopping excessively to actually solve these problems, can lead to degrade or damage to the life of the individual.
The consequences of shopping addiction could range from damage to long term relationships, marriages, friendships and jobs. Others could be financial problems which includes bankruptcy, debt and even theft. Emotional and psychological effects could be issues of anxiety which incurs physical health problems.
Also, shopping addicts suffer from substance abuse or eating and drinking disorders. Damage to relationships can occur due to excessive spending and an immense struggle to cover up for debt and other expenses. This can lead to spending less time with family and friends and other important people in the life of the addict. It gets to a stage where an addict begins to cover up expenses and situations where the addict borrows from friends, lying to avoid repaying may set in and as a result, relationships are severed.
Problems with finances occur when addicts borrow to spend largely. They find themselves in big debts and financial crises when they are unable to pay back. Consequently, many addict lose their jobs when they are unable to perform their duties due to financial constraints. Cases where they have to steal from their boss or the company’s money would result in them getting dismissed.
Also, the level of concentration could decrease when one suffers from addiction. There would be less-motivation and high level of distraction to actually be focused at work and at school. For students and young ones who are addicted to shopping, negative vices such as theft would be common and prominent in a bid to actually meet up with their material desires.
Addiction to shopping is a distinct kind of addiction such that it takes a lot to actually identify and be aware of the signs and symptoms. Over spending unnecessarily on items can be referred to as shopping addiction. Just like any other addiction, a shopping addict can go through any length to purchase and obtain anything barring finances and other things that relates to spending. Borrowing from friends or taking loans from bank and money lenders just to satisfy the urge of spending is very common. Shopping addiction can affect an addict’s financial stability and cause huge debt and even bankruptcy.
The behavior of a shopping addict could be affected in the long run. There is a high tendency to resort to criminal means such as theft, swindling innocent people and even fraud just to fuel the addiction. This addiction is a mental sickness that causes the addict to continue over spending even when the financial resources are absent. It brings satisfaction and pleasure even when the things purchased are not needed.
Financial crisis or debt can have a negative impact on an addict’s personal and professional life. People with compulsive shopping disorders may resort to borrowing money from friends and family in order to fuel and support their addiction. There is a tendency to continually borrow when they run out of funds and finances. Relationships end up getting stained and severed. Running in debt can cause a break in a relationship with loved ones. There would be feelings of insecurity and insincerity on their part. They would no longer trust the addict on anything that has to do with finances, hence leading to a damage in relationship.
The use of credit cards to shop is a common trend today but the responsibility to pay off debt is no longer there. This can put or land a person in trouble financially. Using credit cards to shop is not a bad idea but the need to pay up bills on time is also very crucial.
Also, compulsive shopping negatively impacts an addict’s credit score which prevents him from purchasing items such as a vehicle or from buying a house. Low credit scores can limit the chances of obtaining a job or work due to trust issues on whether the addict is capable to take care of finances. Austere cases of addiction can lower the ability to work efficiently leading to financial issues.
Shopping is an activity that brings pleasure to anyone that partakes in it but when it becomes a compulsive disorder, then there are signs of a potential problem. Purchasing items for a purpose such as clothes for fashion or the latest wristwatch or shoe to look trendy is normal, but when there is an obsession to obtain those items and ending up not making use of them, addiction sets in.
There are certain indications of Behavioural manifestations that shows you have become a shopaholic but there is a need to evaluate oneself to discover if there is any potential of compulsive buying disorder. As it stands, shopping addiction is a kind of addiction that is difficult to notice and observe because when it sets in, it takes proper assessment to actually decipher.
Ask yourself, do you have a shopping addiction? Shopping addiction is a special kind of addiction that requires self-judgment to discover whether excessive spending occurs since shopping involves spending money. Addiction to shopping ensues when one is so engrossed with the activity such that there is no restriction or limit to the purchase of items whether they would be used or not. It involves unnecessary spending probably just to get relieve from anxiety and depression. Once there is a feeling that there is uncontrolled spending, then such a person is seemingly entangled in addiction.
Also, taking records of money spent on shopping can help determine whether there is a slight chance of addiction. Writing down all expenses incurred while shopping can help one keep tabs how money is spent. If there is a situation of excessive spending, determining that will not be difficult, all that would be needed to be done is to go through the records. Also, stating financial goals in the records would help point out the likelihood of addiction such that if there is inability to meet up with the goals, then it is an indication that there has been an instance of over spending.
Ruminating on the feelings attached to shopping at first can help determine whether one is a shopaholic. Taking a constant evaluation on the mood for shopping will help indicate if there is a problem of addiction. Negative feelings such as anxiety, anger and depression can lead one to a state of excessive spending in order to find relieve. Also shopping could be done for pleasure or for the desire for it. Understanding the emotion behind spending is a huge determinant to discover the presence of addiction.
Just like any other addiction, a shopping addiction can affect a person in a lot of ways. There are no restrictions or boundaries as to how much a person can be distressed from the bond of addiction. Also, addiction does not choose whom to affect, it can take a toll on anyone, be it the wealthy or the impoverished. However, the problem of compulsive buying disorder can be brought under control by following some steps.
Firstly, knowing and understanding oneself is a very vital step in the process of controlling addiction. If shopping is a hobby, there should be a reason behind it whether it’s the excitement gained or a strong desire for a special kind of item such as a shoe, wristwatch, clothing or jewelry. There needs to be an evaluation and a positive response to any of this listed reasons does not indicate there is a problem but if there is a prospect of spending unnecessarily, there would be a need to consider various options to solve the situation.
Also, there should be an evaluation on the mood while one shops. Whether anxiety, depression, anger, happiness, or with an intent to cheer oneself or to get delight from shopping. When there is an understanding of the feelings that comes with shopping, then there is a possibility of determining whether addiction has set in and now focus on several means to control them.
Similarly, considering the time spent on shopping or purchasing items can trigger a response. Spending long hours visiting stores or checking records of items and their prices whereas such time could be spent on doing other things is a huge determinant that there is addiction and as such necessary steps needs to be taken to manage it.
It is important for the addict to have a renewed mindset and start taking full responsibility of how he or she spends. There is need to avoid excessive or unnecessary spending by either cutting up all other means apart from paying with cash which includes the use of credit cards which may incur debt. Also, any form of debt acquisition should be avoided in order not to enter into a state of helplessness.
Avoiding platforms that can trigger temptations to engage in unnecessary shopping should be looked at. Platforms such as shopping malls or districts, markets, warehouses should be steered clear of and if shopping is necessary, inviting a friend along to keep tabs on the way money is being spent, could also be instrumental.