Shopping is a normal undertaking that you perform at specific times to ensure that you have all the necessary supplies that you require for everyday living. Like most women, you certainly have a schedule on when you do your shopping, probably with a shopping list. This is a perfect arrangement that can however be interrupted for the worse. Like everybody else, you are constantly bombarded by different product advertisements, possibly with offers that look very attractive. You may find yourself buying products or items even when there is no need for the same. You are literally transformed into a shopaholic. How do you then know that you are a shopaholic?
Symptoms of Shopaholic
- Egocentrism – You develop a feeling that you can only make yourself special by indulging in shopping. When your spirit is low, it is suddenly uplifted after purchasing an item or a product.
- Anxiety – You are most of the time anxious to buy something, which you may not have in mind at that particular time.
- Increased appetite for shopping – No matter what or how much you buy, you have a feeling that you are not yet done. This feeling can drive you to shop until you drop, as they say.
- Lonely shopping – You suddenly want to be on your own when you go out shopping. This is probably out of fear that having company will restrict your shopping.
It is normal for a shopaholic to have a feeling of guilt after shopping. This is because it is only after the shopping that you ‘come’ back to your senses, realizing that you really did not require whatever it is that you have bought. Note that you may not easily recognize the above shopaholic symptoms because you will be in denial of your unnecessary shopping. However, one efficient way of knowing whether you have become a shopaholic or developing into one. You need to be alarmed when you suddenly realize that you have a clothes, items or products that you have not used and still have price tags on them.
Being a shopaholic has serious consequences. This is the reason why some psychiatrists consider shopaholics as having a disorder. Psychiatrists consider the compulsive feeling to buy anything as a compulsive disorder that requires psychiatric attention. The first consequence of being a shopaholic is the strain you will exert on your relationships. This can be worse in a marriage arrangement where marital conflicts become the order of the day. On a personal level, you are bound to have trouble at work. Your financial status is bound to suffer a great deal. Because you are likely to build up debt in form of loans, you stand the risk of bankruptcy. You are also likely to suffer psychologically through frustrations that can lead to loss of emotional control. In extreme cases, you may develop mental health problems that can drive you to commit suicide.
Although you can develop shopaholism through your own shopping methods, certain factors are closely linked to such development. Being depressed, always anxious, feeling bored most of the time, being angry most of the time and focusing on self most of the time are some factors that can drive you to being a shopaholic. You will be using shopping as an escape route from your negative feelings. Most psychiatrists in fact view being a shopaholic as an addiction just like any other addiction and treat it so whenever they treat shopaholics.
Being a shopaholic is very dangerous and in case you find yourself as one, it is important to seek professional medical help. Because it is a behavior, psychiatrists are the best professionals you need to seek assistance. However, you can take own measures to overcome the addiction. The following tips should be helpful:
- Make it a routine to pay for all your purchases using cash, debit card or through check. Using a credit card opens for you an avenue to over-shop and incur huge debts.
- Set specific time for your shopping, say after every two weeks or monthly and stick to the schedule. When going out shopping, ensure that you have a list of all that you need to but and stick to it.
- In case you have several credit cards, consider consolidating them in order to have only one that you can use when it is very necessary.
- Avoid window-shopping at all costs. If you really need to, do so when shops are closed.
- Because the urge to buy something is the same as any other addiction urge, consider exercising as an escape route.
Should you realize that your being shopaholic is getting out of control seek professional help immediately. You can also join an addiction support group operating near you.