Shopping addiction is a very real problem that many people don’t take seriously. Thinking that it is little more than a problem of those who have too much money or just like to shop a lot they don’t realise how damaging the condition can be and the impact both psychological and financial it can have on the addict’s life. Releasing endorphins into the system, shopping addict may experience a much like that of any other drug.
Achieving this so-called “happy feeling” that shopping addiction brings means that the addict will experience the lows too. What goes up must come down and the addict soon descends into a destructive cycle of addiction
Shopping addiction is high amongst those who are obsessed with short-term gratification. As the thrill of the purchase begins to wear off they may find themselves feeling low, depressed, nervous and irritable as they seek their next fix.
Shopping addiction can cause huge financial implications. Unable to keep up with the ever-increasing cost of their shopping habits, addicts to shopping they find themselves racking up huge amounts of debts on credit cards, loans and overdrafts. They may find themselves turning to crime to fund their habit. They may even start shoplifting to obtain the goods that they want. Sometimes shopping addict will have no interest in their actual purchases but is the act of shopping and attaining new goods that provides the excitement and the release of endorphins. Obsessive behaviour affects the receptors in the brain and addict will have difficulty in controlling their impulses even when it is harmful to their everyday life.
Help for shopping addiction is similar to rehabilitation for other addictions. The physical symptoms may not require traditional style withdrawal but the breaking of routines and habits may prove difficult. The psychological dependence of the addiction is the most difficult part to break and can require intensive rehabilitation. Recovery for any addict must include the dressing of the reasons why they have timed to obsessive behaviour. The source of any addictions is likely to be emotional and may have been triggered by a traumatic childhood or difficult events in the past.
There are different types of treatment available from residential rehabilitation for the most serious of sufferers to self-help groups and outpatient treatment. There is treatment available both privately and on the NHS but NHS waiting lists may be long and addict may have to wait a long time for help. Private rehabilitation centres offer the quickest way to help stop a destructive habit or addiction and for admission usually within 24 hours. Being a residential treatment facility will take the addict out of everyday situations and achievements were they are likely to indulge in their shopping addiction and can be essential in starting a new lifestyle. It is often useful to take up a new hobby or interest when trying to give up an addiction as will distract the addict and fill their time with something other than a destructive habit.