Shopping addiction is not a laughing matter. It is possible for people to latch onto shopping as their source of happiness and therapy, and as a means of alleviating stress. If this becomes a life long pattern, the individual is in for a rocky road. Shopping addictions are known to destroy people’s finances, relationships and reputations. They reduce intelligent people to desperation and dysfunction. The first step in defeating a shopping addiction is identifying it. Here is a description of some of the most common signs and symptoms of a shopping addiction:
- Hoards of possessions. Shopping and hoarding go hand in hand together. Because it is an addiction, the addict can never satisfy their craving for buying new things, and the amount they accumulate becomes overwhelming. If you or someone you know does not have control over their stuff per space ratio, it is entirely possible that they have a shopping addiction.
- Consistent money problems. Constant financial hardships can be a sign of a number of addictions because so many addictions require substantial funding. A shopping addiction is particularly hard on the wallet because part of the addiction is handing the money over. A sense of power and pleasure is derived from exchanging money for possessions, so if this attribute is something you are observing, it could indicate a shopping addiction.
- Turning to shopping to alleviate stress. A person’s shopping addiction can be observed in their behavior. In times of stress or trouble is when a person’s addiction flare up most violently. They become desperate to turn to the thing that they know calms them. When a shopping addict is stressed, they will compulsively gravitate toward their favorite stores where they know they can spend money on items they value. The change in their behavior is instantaneous. They are suddenly calm, collected and satisfied. If you observe this type of shift in behavior after shopping, be wary of a shopping addiction.
- A majority of time goes to shopping. A compulsive shopper will also want to spend their time doing almost nothing but shopping. Shopping is a socially acceptable activity, and it is not uncommon for people to want to shop. But when someone becomes obsessed with shopping, they need to check their behavior for signs of a shopping addiction.