5 Signs Of Being A Shopaholic: When Retail Therapy Becomes Non-Therapeutic

A lot of people joke about being a shopaholic. There was even a book series and movie chronicling the misadventures of a shopaholic woman. Unfortunately, being a shopaholic is far from being funny. People have to look past the funny part and realize that shopping addiction is a real problem that must be confronted.

With the kind of society we live in, many of us turn to retail therapy to relieve our stress and feel good about ourselves, but when overspending presents a real problem, it becomes non-therapeutic. A shopping addiction is serious and may lead to a host of problems. It destroys relationships, causes financial and legal problems, and it also leads to other psychological issues. If you believe that you have a shopping addition, this article can provide you with important information.

What Is Shopping Addition And Its Effects?

Shopping addiction is also known as compulsive buying disorder. This is characterized by an impulse-control problem and it can lead to psychological, emotional, and financial problems. Shopaholics are unable to control their need to purchase items despite the fact that the items they bought are non-essential or are beyond their budget. Shopaholics buy an item because they wanted it.

The possible effects of this addiction may include the following:

  • Purchasing items without the ability to afford them
  • Spending too much money
  • Decreased self esteem
  • Shoplifting
  • Feeling guilty or anger after the shopping spree
  • Lost relationship as a result of shopping addiction

Are You A Shopaholic?

You Purchase Unnecessary Items: If you are easily tempted to purchase things you don’t need, you might have a shopping problem. You might purchase your 10th pair of shoes when you still have nine exceptionally functional pairs in your closet, or you have an obsession for handbags.

You Have The Urge To Shop When Frustrated: You have the tendency to compulsively shop when you are angry, sad, or frustrated. You shop to fill an emotional void, such as lack of self-esteem and control, or loneliness. There are even shopaholics who also suffer from other forms of psychological disorder, such as mood and eating disorders. So if you tend to binge on food after having a bad day, you are more likely to indulge in binge shopping as well.

You Lie About Your Shopping Habits: When you come to a point that you need to hide your purchased items from your family or friends, or when you lie about your shopping habits then you have a problem. You are aware that you are spending money on items you don’t need but are unable to stop yourself anyway.

You Feel Remorseful And Guilty After Shopping: Feeling guilty doesn’t only have to apply to expensive purchases. You might feel remorseful and sad about being unable to resist the temptation to buy non-essential items but in the end, you are still able to rationalize your actions if challenged by family members or friends.

You Find Yourself Shopping More Often: Chronic shopping is another sign of addiction. Once you notice that you overspend more often than you should, then you have a shopping problem. This may often be accompanied by paying huge amounts of credit card bills which you are unable to pay on time.

If you are able to relate to any of the characteristics mentioned above, you need to seek help. You must first admit to having a problem and seek the support of your family and friends. You can even consult a professional to help you address the root cause of the shopping problem. It is recommended to address the problem immediately before you start to suffer from more serious consequences, such as financial and legal problems.


icolecolecole.”Vivienne Westwood”. December 4, 2008. Online Image. Flickr. June 30, 2013

Kris Hopkins is a blogger for lifestyle websites where she offers information about shopping addiction and its signs. Some of her written works have also been used by some bail bonds websites, such as http://bailbondsdirect.com/ .

5 Signs Of Being A Shopaholic: When Retail Therapy Becomes Non-Therapeutic

Stefan is a co-founder of LookHunting.com and one of the lead contributors. He brings you hot style tips and awesome outfits on a daily basis. You can find him on Google+ and on our Facebook Page where he posts his latest fashion and beauty finds.