5 Common sense tips to help cure shopping addiction and an overview of the devastating consequences it can have on shopaholics
How You Can Overcome & Cure Shopping Addiction ...
We are constantly bombarded by advertising on a daily basis. There is no escape from this as advertisers use shop windows, magazines, television and the internet to entice customers to buy their products.
Advertisers persuade shopaholics to 'shop til they drop' and to spend like there's no tomorrow.
Sexy and sleek advertising campaigns signal to us that high status and a luxurious lifestyle can be achieved through the purchase of expensive branded items.
And; cosmetic companies know just how to play on female insecurities by using young, attractive models in their advertisements.
When shopping becomes an addiction ...
Shopping is usually done out of necessity although most ordinary people also enjoy the thrill of finding a bargain during sale season.
Spending only becomes problematic and develops into an addiction, once it is used as an escape from boredom, depression, anxiety or low self-esteem.
Instead of alcohol and drugs, the purchasing of clothing, electricals, cosmetics and other luxuries is used to numb emotional pain and give shopaholics an intense feeling of euphoria.
The temporary high gained from a purchase is usually short-lived. Severe anxiety sets in once the shopping addict gets a chance to take stock of the amount of money that they’ve wasted.
While in the throes of their addiction, the shopaholic will have an extremely large collection of unused items still containing price tags. Shopping addicts never get to enjoy their purchases because they are constantly replacing them with newer, more modern products.
The depression that follows a spending spree will only be numbed by more unnecessary purchasing. And; the habit becomes a never-ending cycle that's difficult to break.
When it comes to advertising, the most targeted demographic are women in their twenties and thirties so it will be no surprise that this age bracket suffers most from shopping addiction.
Consistent wreckless spending sprees usually result in enormous financial credit card debts and other problems such as loss of employment and relationship issues.
But, the good news is that anyone can overcome shopping addiction once they recognise they have a problem. The following is a list of common sense steps that will aid the shopaholic in ending this problem once and for all.
1.) Begin By Reading Books By Former Shopping Addicts
It’s good to read about the experiences of other shopping addicts that have suffered from the same addiction and learn about the coping mechanisms they have developed. Sufferers will then realise that other people have been through this and that they are not alone.
This type of case study book will provide the shopping addict with an understanding of why they buy and how to break their obsession with shopping. Once they understand the psychology behind compulsive spending they will be able to let go of the guilt they carry around and control their impulses.
2.) Cut Up Your Credit Cards. It's a simple but effectve strategy.
When we use credit cards we get instant gratification without actually seeing the amount of cash that we spend. Those addicted to shopping usually have multiple credit cards and often ignore the bills until the bank starts ringing or the repo man starts knocking on the door.
It’s best to cut up credit cards and always use cash instead. That way the shopaholic will be able to see just how much thay are spending during every transaction. If they absolutely must have credit cards, they should keep just one for emergencies. It should be held by a trusted family member and only given to the addict when it is absolutely necessary.
3.) Avoid All Your Favorite Shops Until You Recover.
This may seem like an obvious thing do to but for shopping addicts it is one of the most difficult. They can’t avoid shops forever but it helps them learn to stop spending on impulse. They should take different routes than normal to avoid favorite shopping centres or stores that they usually frequent.
Shoping addicts should also do all they can to avoid advertisements outside shops and on the television and internet. If that means reading more books rather than watching television then they should be encouraged to do so. They should definitely avoid all shops, malls and online stores when they are feeling lonely, depressed or bored.
If the shopaholic feels a desperate need to buy something, they should try asking a staff member to leave the item behind the counter for them to collect the following day. This will provide some time to cool down and will help them realise that they don’t really need or want the product.
4.) Find A Therapist To Help You Work Through Your Addiction.
A therapist can help the shopaholic find the underlying cause of their retail addiction. It could be the result of depression due to a relationship breakdown, or it could be low self-esteem driving the addict to buy things like cosmetics and clothes to enhance their outward appearance and looks.
Once they understand why they spend so friviolously the shopping addict can begin to work through these issues with their therapist and become happier within themself.
5.) Join A Support Group. Make friends and Talk About Your Problem.
A great way to deal with shopping addiction is to join a support group such as Shoppers Anonymous, Debtors Anonymous or Over-Spenders Anonymous. This will help the shopaholic learn how other shopping addicts cope with their over-spending and also help them find supportive friends to lean on during the toughest of times.
Talking freely amongst a non-judgmental group of people will help them face their problem and help them overcome it. They will be able to let go of any shame they have been carrying around and they will finally be able to come to a much happier place within themself.