What Compulsive Shopping and Spending Means?
The phrase ‘shop till you drop’ aptly describes people who are shopaholic. They purchase anything out of whim and will do this to such an extent that they run their credit cards up to the limit. Almost all shopaholics feel that shopping will make them feel better, but in reality they end up feeling more frustrated because of the tension of surmounting bills. Compulsive shopping addiction is quite similar to other addictive behaviors like drinking, gambling, overeating, etc and is known to affect more women than men.
The tendency to shop to one’s heart content increases in the shopaholic people under certain conditions like holiday /festive seasons, when they are depressed or feeling lonely or simply irked up. Excessive overspending by a person frequently is actually a lapse in personality and they need to understand that shopping or spending will not guarantee more love, boost self-respect, nurse old hurts and regrets, solve everyday problems, etc. A compulsive shopper usually is seen to have strained relations with family and friends because of their behavior.
How to Recognize a Compulsive Shopper?
- Whenever the shopaholics feel low, they are goaded to buy the knick-knack ‘pick-me-up’ kind of articles. They just go out and purchase stuff to experience a high or a rush, just like alcohol or drug addicts.
- Shopaholics will normally buy things that they do not really require. Festive seasons tend to encourage the shopping habits because of the various fetching offers like discounts and bonanzas.
- While few shopping addicts go on binging the year round and may be obsessive about getting specific articles like shoes, kitchen items or clothing, others will purchase just anything.
- Women who are compulsive shoppers often have stacks of unused clothes and other items with the price tags still attached. Normally they will go shopping to get a couple of items, but return home with bags and bags of purchases.
- Shopaholics have also been known to suffer from psychological ‘black out’ and do not remember even purchasing the stuff. And when friends and family begin to question them, they will hide the stuff they have purchased.
Treatment for Shopaholic People / Compulsive Buyers
If you yourself or someone around shows such traits as mentioned above, then the person is a compulsive buyer in all probability. Though a chronic problem, it is possible to treat shopaholic people provided they themselves are willing to cooperate. It is normally advised that compulsive buyers take help of professional counseling or a self-help group to get rid of their psychological problem.
Compulsive Buyers / Shopaholics - How do you Shun Shopping Binges?
- Always try to pay your shopping bills by cash, check, debit card.
- Shop as per ingeniously prepared scripted shopping list, which will include only the must-have items.
- Destroy or keep away all credit cards, except one to be used during emergency.
- Stay away from discount stores. Even if your do visit, keep aside only a fixed amount of cash for spending.
- Window shop after the stores has shut down or you will be tempted to buy.
- Avoid phoning in catalog orders and viewing TV shopping channels.
- Go for a stroll or exercise whenever you feel the urge to shop.
- If nothing seems to work, then seek professional help.
- Keep accurate records of your spending as it will help you understand your splurging habits better. You will then know where not to spend.
- You can also do well by inculcating an interest for a new hobby like painting, trekking, etc.