Shopping normally is a necessary habit of our daily life. We go shopping in order to find and get things we need to survive, like food and medicines, have pleasure with, like toys and music, or just wear them on, like clothes. We buy items that we need or we wish to have just to enjoy ourselves and this is normal. However, shopping habit has transformed into the unhealthy obsession with things these days.
Scientists started to use the term ‘shopping addiction’ at the end of last century. It was a big piece of news to many people. Some made laughs at it and did not consider it to be serious. However, now many researches were made in order to prove the importance and impact of this type of addiction on our society. Statistics shows that more than half of American women are addicted to shopping. Twenty percent of German women have admitted to be thinking constantly about spending money on things they do not need. Even more, half of all British female society finds sex less amusing than having a walk around shops.
Shopping addiction is psychological disorder
Specialists say that shopping addiction is a mental and psychological disorder. It is one of the examples of the compulsive behavior. Usually the cause of such a behavioral disorder lies deep in a person’s childhood. Usually such people grow in shortage of care and love, even though they may live in normal and happy families. Their need for love is not fulfilled during childhood, and therefore such people find the substitute for love in stores.
Another example might be spontaneous personalities. Thinking comes after action in their lives. Such people spend hours in stores just trying to get as many goods as possible. While they are in a store, they do not even think about the amount of money they can spend. Very often this is the cause that they reach negative balance on a credit bank account. Using credit cards is very helpful for shopping addicts as well.
Another group of shopoholics is suspicious and very precautious people. They go shopping in order to calm themselves and to fight with their obsessive thoughts they cannot control. This category of shopping-addicts finds walking around stores and buying items relaxing and relieving. They may fall into this disorder after the breakdown of their love relationship, problems at home, work and others.
Mainly psychologists describe shopping addiction as a typical people’s behavior in order to escape the reality. Those who are addicted fall into trance when they enter a shop. Shopoholics then spend a lot of money on needless items because they lose the sense of control. A problem occurs when they come home and euphoria is not there anymore. Shopping-addicts start regretting for what they have done, how much money they spent and things they bought. Feelings of shame, guilt and hopelessness accompany moments of addictive shopping.
You have to analyze your shopping habits. Identify obsessive wish to buy things and note whether you need to enter a store when you are feeling down or hopeless. Here is a short questionnaire, suggested by the scientists of Stanford, USA. This should help you to find out whether you or people close to you are addicted.
- Do you spend money when you go shopping, regardless of whether you need anything?
- Do you buy things or take financial risks even when you cannot afford to?
- When life gets stressful, do you seek consolation by spending money?
- Do you spend money to cheer yourself up when feeling anxious, depressed or bored?
- Do you celebrate by rewarding yourself with a spending or gambling spree?
If your answer to at least two of these questions is positive you should consider your shopping habit very carefully because it might mean you need professional help.
Shopping addiction, just like gambling addiction , work addiction and eating disorders , is a serious behavioral problem. It is a result of our way of living. Even though people did not have this type of problem half a century ago, nowadays, it is becoming more and more common in our society. If you know somebody who might be a shopoholic do not turn him or her down.