Many people love to splash out on a special purchase – but for some individuals shopping addiction can become a harmful compulsion.
Hence if you find yourself spending too much on things like clothes, shoes, and the latest electrical goods, it may be time pause for thought.
Problems with shopping addiction may occur if buying desirable items becomes a way of secretly coping with inner feelings of anxiety or low self-esteem.
Individuals can find themselves in an endless cycle of needless over-spending. The consequences of this for mental wellbeing and personal finances can be catastrophic.
What are the signs of a shopaholic?
Modern lifestyles, including internet shopping, have made it easier than ever to become a shopaholic. In 2015, psychology researchers at the University of Bergen identified Seven Warning Signs.
These are broadly as follows:
- Do you constantly think about shopping and what to buy?
- Do you shop or buy things to change or improve your mood?
- Does shopping have negative effects on your daily obligations?
- Do you have to buy more to get the same level of satisfaction?
- Have you tried to buy less but have been unable to do so?
- Do you feel bad if you are unable to go shopping / buy things?
- Do you spend so much that it has impaired your wellbeing?
Whilst patterns may vary from person to person, if four or more of the above warning signs apply to you then it is advisable to seek professional help.
Is shopping a ‘real’ addiction?
Most leading experts agree that shopping addiction is a very real phenomenon. The thrill that a person experiences when they buy something can trigger the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. These are natural ‘feel-good’ chemicals that change our moods. This can lead to ‘behavioural addictions’ that work in very is similar way to the substance addictions that occur when we misuse alcohol or drugs.
Leading experts include Dr.med.Konrad Hitz, Medical Director at The Kusnacht Practice, the world`s most exclusive treatment centre for addiction.
Dr. Hitz said: “People tend to think of addiction in terms of alcohol and drugs, which are obvious examples of addictive substances. But it is possible to become addicted to behavioural processes, such as sex, gambling, or shopping.”
What is the best treatment for shopping addiction?
Thankfully, treatment for shopping addiction (include online shopping addiction) is available. As with all forms of addiction, the underlying causes are likely to be due to one or more of a combination of factors. These can include genetics, underlying psychological issues, and adverse life experiences.
Dr. Hitz added: “Individuals who are affected by behavioural addictions are entitled to compassion and understanding. They are likely to require professional treatment in order to identify the underlying causes of their issues.”
Click here if you would like more information about treatment for shopping addiction at The Kusnacht Practice.