Addiction to Shopping
Many of us have heard the term ‘Retail Therapy’ and will have thought that this is the term given to someone who is spending money on frivolous items as a means of making themselves feel better about things. This is partly true but for the most part this so-called therapy is more of a problem than a cure and can lead to more severe problems arising.
Genuine AddictionMany people might not choose to believe it but we can suffer from an addiction to shopping. This is something that a great number of individuals do suffer from and it can cause both they and their families not only emotional distress but a great deal of financial hardship as well.
This compulsive condition is designed to make the individual feel better about themselves and their lives whilst ignoring – or glossing over – the uncomfortable reality of their normal everyday existence. They might well be suffering from stress due to problems at work or may be suffering the break up of a relationship but whatever the reason the compulsion to spend money in order to feel happy and content is a strong one.
The condition is also unusual in that it is accompanied by an almost euphoric state prior to a spending spree at which the sufferer can – to a point – fantasise about what he or she will buy or indeed what they will spend their money on.These are commonplace emotions for this condition, which are mirrored by the opposite effects after the spending spree has occurred.
Often a sufferer will spend many hours after their spending spree considering the cost of the items they have purchased and will sink into a depressive state as the reality of how much money they have spent kicks in.
Shame remorse, guilt and despair are all commonplace emotions to be felt by a sufferer after the initial euphoria has worn off. This can be dangerous as the individual’s mental state goes from one of high excitement to high anxiety in next to no time.
How This Addiction Effects LivesAway from the physical and emotional symptoms produced by this problem there are also the financial and relationship problems that can unfold. Unless the sufferer is in a comfortable financial position then he or she will have to seriously consider how the money that has been spent will be paid back.
This feeling of financial despair often leads the sufferer to return items he or she has purchased in order to recoup the money spent but this can only lead to the process beginning again.
The effects on a sufferer’s family can be many and varied with certainly a drain on finances being the most important effect. In addition tension within the family as well as arguments can arise.
If you are aware of someone within your family or a close friend who you think might be suffering from this addiction it is important to try and encourage them to seek medical and emotional help.
This problem, although one that is not as well publicised as addictions to drugs, alcohol or gambling, is still high on the list of addictions that can lead to emotional breakdown as well as the break up of relationships and families.