How to Deal with Shopping Obsession

Most people love to shop. And while some gives in to occasional binges, there are those who succumbed to the perils of obsession.

Understanding the Obsession

It is the irresistible desire to shop and people affected are overly focused on buying because of an unsettling anxiety that can only be relieved by purchasing stuffs. They also are likely to have other mental issues, like mood disorders, and sometimes substance addictions.

Tell-Tale Signs of an Obsessive Shopper (Shopaholic)

  • Spending over the budget
  • Buying more than what is needed
  • Keeping the excessive buy a secret from friends and family
  • Returning bought items because of guilt
  • Alienating relationships due to preoccupation to shop
  • Preferring the use of credit cards to cash
  • Buying stuffs in order to eliminate feelings of anger, depression or loneliness
  • Arguing frequently with other people about their buying habits
  • Experiencing guilt and shame after a spending spree
  • Mulling over money matters
  • Delaying paying bills and opening new credit accounts to allow more opportunity to shop

How to Help a Shopaholic

Several measures are available in order  to help people dealing with this kind of addiction. The presence of loved ones is very important during the whole process. Patience is vital because the road to recovery is not an easy path. Avoid scenarios that may cause anxiety that in turn can lead to buying binges. Make them realize the importance of preparing a list as opposed to coming to the store unprepared. Credit cards must be paid off, cancelled and destroyed. And convince them of the pros on not carrying a wallet all the time, after all without financial means, no spree will happen.

It is important to get to know what goes on in the mind of an affected individual in order to help deal with their addiction. Shopaholics are not always easy-going young women who are only concerned about the latest shoes and handbags. The truth is they often suffer from emotional problems, has low self-esteem, and needs the approval of other people. By letting them know their self-worth and giving them positive encouragements, you help them accept and follow constructive advice.

A shopaholic oftentimes have trouble controlling impulsive behavior. This can be addressed by dealing with the underlying problems. They also often has a deep sense of materialism, with the notion that affection and admiration can be bought. A real social connection with other people will help address this concern.

How to Treat the Obsession

There are some indications that this addictive behaviour may be partially aggravated by genetics, but there is no known origin and no standard treatments are available either. There is however, a couple of sophisticated approaches, one is the prescription of antidepressants to patients who have also been diagnosed with underlying depression. Another is by addressing maladaptive behaviours and cognitive processes through therapy. Cognitive behavioural therapy works by helping the patient change their unproductive thought patterns, such as negative thoughts that influence the behavior regarding money and shopping.