If you start shopping and can’t quit, there could be serious complications ahead. Losing control of shopping habits indicates an impulse control disorder that is similar to addictive disorders, but without the drugs.
Factors That May Increase Behavior
A multiplicity of social and cultural factors may enter the picture by increasing the addictive behavior. One is today’s easy access to credit and society’s general focus on material things. People are encouraged to accumulate possessions now and pay later. Online shopping and television stations that focus on sales day and night add to the possibility.
What Are The Signs That Your Shopping Is Out Of Control?
Spending and shopping to offset disappointment, anger, discomfort or fear tops the list. If you are stressed by your own habits to the point of emotional distress, be concerned. Arguing with a spouse or other significant person over spending is a clue. Also on the list are feeling lost without credit cards, buying items on credit that you wouldn’t buy if you were paying cash, getting a “rush” from spending, experiencing guilt, shame or embarrassment after a spree, lying about how much you spend, thinking excessively about money or spending time trying to reconcile your accounts and bills.
How Do You Know If You Have A Problem?
Four or more of the above indicate a problem. You might get a feeling or happiness and power while spending, but you have to keep shopping to maintain that feeling. The brief but intense emotional high doesn’t last long.
Consequences Of Addiction
Researchers have related compulsive spending with interpersonal difficulties, occupational consequences, and family/financial problems. Anxiety and depression may be more troublesome as spending gets out of hand. Borrowing money to cover credit buying exacerbates the problem. Too often, the extent of an addict’s spending doesn’t become apparent until the debt becomes overwhelming. Then a drastic change in lifestyle becomes an absolute necessity, and the emotional effects come home to roost.
How To Get Help
If you suspect you may have gone too far in your spending, contact a certified addictions counselor. Your regular physician may be able to help in locating one. Check your state health agency or a local hospital to see if they can direct you to the help you need. The American Psychiatric Association also has resources that are useful.
Better at this stage of things to spend a little time rather than any more money.