Like many subsets of addictive behaviour, shopping addiction is controversial amongst phycologists, and so there is no clear consensus regarding symptoms nor treatment.
However, according to Shopaholics Anonymous, there are several types of a shopping addict.
- Compulsive shopping in response to emotional distress
- Trophy shopping addicts who endlessly pursue the perfect item
- Bargain seekers who shop solely because something is cheap or on sale
- Collectors who do not feel complete until they have one of every type of item
Call 0808 115 0608 today and get immediate help.
What causes shopping addiction?
Shopping addiction typically occurs when someone becomes addicted to the rush of dopamine released when shopping.
Professor Ruth Engs of Indiana University estimates that it may be far more common than many would assume, claiming that between 10-15% of people experience some form of shopping addiction.
What treatments exist for shopping addiction?
Treating shopping addiction is complicated by the fact that shopping is an essential part of people’s day-to-day lives.
This means that it is not as simple as cutting off an addict’s ability to spend money.
Often, a more nuanced approach is required when tackling shopping addiction.
Often, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is used to recognise what triggers an addict’s shopping impulse and to avoid or counter it.
A highly successful approach in modern therapy, CBT encourages addicts to confront their affliction and replace it with healthy ways of thinking.
As with many other forms of addiction, inpatient treatment programmes have been shown to be very successful when treating shopping addiction.
These usually involve being removed from ordinary life for at least 30 days.
Castle Craig Hospital, the UK’s leading addiction clinic, offers state-of-the-art addiction care and recovery route for those considering inpatient treatment programmes.
For more information, visit Castle Craig’s website.
In extreme cases, it may still be necessary to remove an addict’s ability to shop altogether, provided that a responsible friend or family member is able to handle their finances instead.
Due to the size of this commitment, this may not be possible for many shopping addicts.
Shopping addiction can have detrimental effects on a person’s life.
It can destroy finances, friendships and even relationships.
For general advice on treating shopping addiction, visit Psych Guides’ page for advice.
As always, we recommend an appointment with your local GP, as each person is different and it may be unwise to self-diagnose.
If you feel that impatient treatment is right for you, visit Castle Craig Hospital online to make a free enquiry.
Or speak to us confidentially and we will help direct you to the right place.
Call 0808 115 0608.
Last Updated on March 4, 2021 by Alison