Find a Compulsive Spending Treatment Program TODAY
If you're suffering from compulsive shopping, you need a compulsive spending program NOW. Your addiction to spending money is taking over your life, hurting the people you love as well as yourself. You can feel its power over you and your finances, and you know it's time to break this bond, but you don't know how. We are here to help you – call 954-271-5047.
For many people, shopping means new clothes for work or maybe odds and ends for the house. For others, however, shopping takes on an entirely different meaning. It can become as destructive as any other addiction and result in a financial nightmare for the shopper and family alike. This is referred to as compulsive spending or compulsive shopping.
Compulsive shopping and spending are defined as excessive and out of control. As with other addictions, the spending addict continues to spend and shop in the face of adverse consequences. Sometimes referred to as "shopoholism", compulsive shopping can create massive financial, marital, legal and family problems. These consequences are identical in nature to the consequences created from drug addiction or alcoholism.
Many people ask why someone would continue to shop and spend when he or she knows negative consequences are right around the corner. It is best explained as we would explain the process of any addiction. People who give in to compulsive shopping or spending get a feeling of being "high" from the experience. This translates into endorphins and dopamine, natural receptor sites in the brain, getting turned on, creating a "good feeling" and reinforcing the desire to shop or spend. This is the cycle of addiction that must be broken in order to recover and manage spending.
Signs and Symptoms of Compulsive Shopping and Spending
- Breaking Your Budget: Many times you will break your budget by spending more than you have agreed to. This can create tremendous financial strain as you spend well above your means.
- Compulsive Buying: When you go shopping you may go with the intention of buying one shirt, but before you know it you end up with six of them.
- Chronic Problem: A shopping addiction is a continuous problem and one that gets worse over time. Generally speaking, you experience it more than once or twice a year. As with other addictions compulsive shopping and spending is progressive in nature.
- Hiding the Problem: You tend to hide your purchases due to the financial and family problems you have already created. You want to avoid arguments with your significant other. It is as if you are hiding your shame. You might create second and third credit card accounts unknown to anyone else. Research shows compulsive shopping affects mostly women, while alcoholism affects mostly men.
- The Return Cycle: You might often return your purchases due to the guilt and shame you feel. Unfortunately, you place yourself back into the shopping environment, and while feeling the guilt and shame you end up on another shopping spree.
- Impaired Relationships: It is not uncommon to find dysfunctional or unhealthy relationships in your home. Relationships begin to deteriorate as you spend more and more time away from home to shop, create more and more debt, cover up debt with deception, and start to isolate yourself from others as you become preoccupied with your behavior.
- Consequences: Like any other addiction, compulsive shopping and spending has nothing to do with how much you shop or spend and everything to do with consequences. There are always consequences to addictive behavior, and you will not recover unless you are allowed to feel and experience those consequences.
Behaviors that may indicate a compulsive shopping problem:
- Shopping or spending money as a result of feeling angry, depressed, anxious, or lonely
- Having arguments with others about your shopping habits
- Feeling lost without credit cards - actually going into withdrawal without them
- Buying items on credit, rather than with cash
- Describing a rush or a feeling of euphoria with spending
- Feeling guilty, ashamed, or embarrassed after a spending spree
- Lying about how much money was spent or owning up to buying something, but lying about how much it actually cost
- Thinking obsessively about money
- Spending a lot of time juggling accounts or bills to accommodate spending
For those of you who have identified with three or more of the above, you may have a compulsive shopping problem. Programs specializing in compulsive shopping and compulsive spending are starting to appear.
Dr. April Benson's new book, To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop is a highly affordable version of her effective Stopping Overshopping Program. The book helps compulsive shoppers overcome their addiction and addresses compulsive shopping on multiple fronts, enabling overshoppers to:
- recognize impulses as they arise
- tolerate impulses without acting on them
- separate who they are from what they have
- find healthier ways to meet their needs
- reclaim their power, freedom, and self-esteem
If you have an accompanying drug addiction or alcohol addiction, inpatient treatment is available and you can receive help there. The ability to be in a residential setting can provide you with much needed support to break the cycle of compulsive shopping, spending, drinking or drugging.
If you have a problem with compulsive shopping, spending, drugs or alcohol addiction and need to locate a quality treatment program or drug rehab center, call us now at 954-271-5047.