Why do we splurge on food or clothes when we don’t need them?
When spending is like substance abuse
A feeling of powerlessness, or lack of influence, may encourage us to pay more for products or services. It may even make us eat more. (yep you have read correctly). When we feel insecure, we automatically want better and bigger stuff. We are all potentially vulnerable to feelings of low status, whether those perceptions result from losing a job, the breakup of a romantic relationship or receiving a bad performance review at work.
Reasons behind compulsive shopping
Most reasons for compulsive shopping are psychological. In general, a person will be having emotions of loneliness, depression, feel out of control in a specific area, and seek to spend money in order to relieve the stress. Spending addiction is a symptom or flashing red-light warning sign that there are deep-rooted feelings one is trying to avoid facing.
Some of the psychological conditions associated with compulsive shopping are:
- Emotional deprivation in childhood
- Inability to tolerate negative feelings
- Need to fill an inner void
- Excitement seeking
- Approval seeking
- Genuinely impulsive and compulsive
- Need to gain control
Is there a self-assessment you can do…
- Do you buy things you want, whether or not you can afford them at the moment?
- Do you buy things to cheer yourself up or to reward yourself?
- Do you shop when you feel angry or disappointed?
- Has overspending created problems in your life?
- Do you have conflicts with loved ones about your need to shop?
- While shopping, do you feel euphoric rushes or anxiety?
- After shopping, do you feel like you have just finished doing something wild or dangerous?
- After shopping, do you ever feel guilty or embarrassed about what you have done?
- Do you frequently buy things that you never end up using or wearing
- Do you think about money almost all the time
- Do you feel a sense of euphoria as well as anxiety while shopping?
- Are you experiencing a sense of getting away with something forbidden while shopping
- Do you feel severe guilt or remorse about having gone shopping, especially if it contradicts promises made to one’s self or a loved one?
- Are you buying things for no reason other than to spend ?
- Do you lie about one’s extensive shopping habits to friends and family?
- Do you have preoccupation with credit cards and finances built around how much one has spent, how much one will have to spend on shopping, and creative juggling of various accounts to make shopping possible ?
If you answered yes to more than 3 questions, then it is time to get help.
How to stop?
Those suffering from a compulsive buying disorder can seek shopping addiction treatment from a therapist, as the underlying issues are indeed psychological.
A therapist may help you :
To reduce temptations
Buy what you need only
ask yourself the right questions, Do you need this? Or do you just want it? Develop other ways to handle emotions
Learn to ride through urges and preoccupations
Develop habits in stores
Sabine Therapies offers Transregression Therapy to help you cope with shopalcoholic addiction.
Book an appointment today