The Holidays bring with them the joy of giving and the need to shop for the right gift for the right person. For the some 18 million compulsive shoppers, however, the holiday is but one more trigger to an addiction that ultimately brings far more pain than joy.
Who are the Compulsive Shoppers?
According to April Lane Benson author of To Buy or Not to Buy, compulsive shoppers can be anyone. Whereas compulsive shopping tends to be associated with women, there is increasing evidence that men are as likely to have a shopping problem. They just shop for different things like sporting equipment, electronics or automobile accessories as opposed to clothes, shoes and jewelry.
In my own clinical work, I have found that the actual profile of the shopaholic or compulsive shopper is not a set picture. It includes a teacher who never opened the boxes of her countless on-line J Crew purchases; the senior citizen who filled his home with garage sale radios, TV’s and specialized tools; the businessman with escalating online art purchases; and the suburbanite with an ever growing collection of jewelry that she never wore.
What Are The Signs Of Compulsive Shopping?
Shopping that impacts your life in an increasingly negative way but which— you can’t stop!
Shopping as an Addiction
In a recent study comparing compulsive and ordinary buyers, Helga Dittmar found that ordinary buyers start out in a better mood than compulsive shoppers and their mood is more positive after the purchase and even more positive when they get home.
As compared to this, a compulsive buyer starts out in a less positive mood than a normal buyer, escalates much more than the normal buyer during the purchase but dips far below that of the normal buyer and their own pre-purchase mood on returning home.
Why Are You Compulsively Shopping?
April Benson reminds us that central to addressing compulsive buying is recognizing what drives it. Are you buying…
If so, you are not alone and you already know on some level that like any addiction, shopping works until is stops working. Then it takes more and more.
How Do I Stop Compulsive Shopping?
As with any addiction, one of the most important steps to change is recognizing and owning the problem.
April Lane Benson’s web site www.stoppingovershopping.com offers links to professional on-line and in-person individual and group help.
How Do I Cope with Holiday Shopping?
Recognize that the gift of acknowledging and addressing a problem is one that will keep giving all year long!
Listen to April Benson discuss more about Compulsive Shopping and How to Stop on Psych Up on Cosozo Radio – just click here
This post currently has
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.
From Psych Central's World of Psychology:
Best of Our Blogs: December 13, 2013 | World of Psychology (December 13, 2013)
Best of Our Blogs: December 13, 2013 | Psychologist Magazine (December 13, 2013)
Last reviewed: 23 Dec 2013