Symptoms of Different Modern Day Addictions » Symptoms of Shopping Addiction | Symptoms of Different Modern Day Addictions Tue, 05 Mar 2013 23:09:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Symptoms of Shopping Addiction /symptoms-of-shopping-addiction/ /symptoms-of-shopping-addiction/#comments Thu, 01 Jan 1970 00:00:00 +0000 http://6024493 Unlike many other forms of addiction, a shopping addiction may not be readily apparent. People buy things every day, and going on the occasional shopping spree is seen as little more than a leisure activity. When “shopaholic” is just a term for the fashion-forward, how do you tell when a hobby has gone too far?

Oniomania is considered an impulse control disorder in the same way any other form of addiction is, but because it isn’t taken as seriously, the research into this area has only gained some significance in the past 20 years. There are many ideas as to what prompts this kind of behavior. Some believe that it goes back to the parent-child relationship where the parent was present financially but not emotionally. These objects become a substitute for affection that carries on through adulthood, leading the person to view material goods as a way to fill this void. Others believe it has more to do with consumerist culture that encourages people to purchase their status and self-esteem. Whatever the cause, this type of addiction can have enormous financial repercussions.

Because the need to make purchases may outweigh a person’s means, someone with shopping addiction may overspend, leading to debt or bankruptcy. With a ruined credit history, the ability to make purchases dwindles, which can increase the strain on personal relationships. While it is rare, some people may even turn to theft to get the material goods they crave, and the depression and anxiety stemming from the failure to secure these material goods may even lead to suicide.

The initial symptom of a shopping disorder is the need to make purchases. Compulsive shoppers may also be hoarders. Other symptoms include irritability, anxiety and depression when prevented from making purchases. After making a purchase, the person may initially feel a “high” followed by a period of remorse. Because the act of shopping produces a high, the person may then use another shopping spree to balance out the remorse. As compulsive shopping continues, the person may lie to others about how much they have purchased or their financial outlook. The person may even begin to conceal their purchases.

More obvious symptoms surface in the finances of the person. As debt grows, it also becomes more difficult to conceal. After missing payments, creditors may begin to call. The person may also ask for money from friends and family and may even lie to gain access to funds. Once the person has accumulated enough debt, he or she may have to declare bankruptcy.

The good news is that most people with a shopping addiction are willing to admit it, unlike with many other forms of addiction. Financial counseling can help a person suffering from shopping addiction get back on track, and a therapist can help address the issues that lead to the compulsive behavior. If you or someone you know may have a shopping addiction, get help now.

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