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Shopping Addiction - Everything you Need to Know

Shopping Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, and When to Get Help.

Also referred to as Compulsive Buying Disorder by psychologists, a shopping addiction is characterized as an impulse control issue and can potentially cause catastrophic damage to someone's life emotionally and financially. How to tell if you're someone who really enjoys shopping or if you are a candidate for rehab for shopping addiction is an important question. There are several signs of a shopaholic that a compulsive shopper may recognize about his or her own shopping behaviors:

  • You spend more than you can afford to.
  • You have many unopened items or items with tags still attached in your closet.
  • You often purchase items you don't need or plan on purchasing.
  • When you get angry or feel depressed, you are likely to go shopping to feel better.
  • You feel a rush of excitement or euphoria when you purchase something.
  • You feel guilt, remorse, and even embarrassment sometimes after you shop.
  • You try to hide the extent of your shopping activity.
  • Your overspending creates problems in some of your relationships.
  • You think about money constantly and stress about finances due to your excessive shopping.

There is more than one type of shopping addiction. Fortunately, there is help for anyone who feels they have lost control of their shopping behavior at a rehab for shopping addiction. If you recognize any of the signs of a shopaholic above in your own behavior or someone else's, you should go a step further and learn about the different types of shopping addictions that exist:

  • Shopaholics who compulsively shop when they are feeling emotional pain.
  • Shopaholics who are always looking for the perfect item.
  • Shopaholics who are trying to create an image of being a big spender and purchase flashy items or status symbols.
  • Shoppers who get caught in endless cycles of purchasing and then returning items.
  • Shoppers who are 'collectors' and need to have an item in every color or a complete set.
  • Shoppers who experience feelings of anxiety when they are unable to shop.

When confronting a shopping addiction, patients in a rehab for shopping addiction will spend time working on identifying triggers that cause them to escape by shopping. Alternative methods of dealing with those triggers are sought that can be positive or even productive. Patients will also learn how to remove temptation to limit shopping trips or online shopping.

How does a shopping addiction happen? How does someone go from making occasional impulse buys to becoming a compulsive shopper? When some people shop, their brains release endorphins and dopamine, which feels very good to the brain. Over time, it becomes possible to develop an addiction. It has been estimated that approximately 18 million people have a compulsive buying disorder in the United Sates. Compulsive shopping is a mental health disorder that can cause serious consequences that affect not only the compulsive shopper, but also those close to them.

A compulsive shopper will feel positive for a short period of time after completing a shopping trip. Soon, these feelings will be accompanied by feelings of guilt and anxiety. However, it is often the feelings of guilt and anxiety that trigger even more shopping as a way to avoid the negative emotions. This behavior becomes a vicious cycle that is never ending until the individual seeks help. Long-term consequences have a much bleaker outlook. Here is where the serious damage can occur. Financial problems can occur and snowball quickly. Most shopaholics will get into serious debt that they are unable to manage. This includes maxing out credit cards, taking out loans, or even second mortgages on homes. It can cause divorce and damage to relationships with family members.

If you feel you may have a shopping addiction, visit: Drug Treatment Centers Syracuse for more information on shopping addiction and the help that is available. You can also call the Syracuse Drug Treatment Center at: 315-679-4395 and speak to someone that can help you find a treatment center. Find out more about the signs of a shopaholic and if you or someone you know should consider rehab for shopping addiction.

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