Whether its online, in a mall, or at local boutiques, we all love shopping. It has almost become part of our culture, heck we even have an entire day dedicated to shopping, or better known as Black Friday. Anyways, most of us go shopping on occasion, to pick up that season’s necessitates. For others, it can actually be an addiction, better know as “shopoholism,” that can lead to financial downfall.
Donald Black, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa College of Medicine states that, “like other addictions, it basically has to do with impulsiveness and lack of control over one’s impulses. In America, shopping is embedded in our culture; so often, the impulsiveness comes out as excessive shopping.”
There are many tell tale signs that that someone’s excessive shopping has actually become and addiction. For example, spending way over budget is a clear sign that someone has a shopping problem. Ruth Engs, EdD, a professor of applied health science at Indiana University, states that, “often times a person will spend over their budget and get into deep financial trouble, spending well above their income”. She goes on to add, “the normal person will say, ‘Oops, I can’t afford to buy this or that.’ But not someone who has an addiction.” Basically, he or she does not recognize the boundaries of a budget or that they have a problem. In addition, a shopaholic will also compulsively buy items. For example, if a person goes into a store for a shirt and comes out with 15, they clearly have a problem.
Like any other addiction, those get involved in a vicious circle. “Some people will take their purchases back because they feel guilty,” says Engs. “That guilt can trigger another shopping spree, so it’s a vicious circle.” Although debt may not be an issue for some of these shopaholics, because they’re consistently returning clothes out of guilt — but a problem still exists.
These behaviors such as compulsive shopping and buying things way over budget and can also be gateways to a more serious problem: Shopping or spending money as a result of feeling angry, depressed, anxious, or lonely. Shopaholics also have arguments with loved ones about shopping habits and the fact that they feel lost without credit cards .
I know we all feel a sense of euphoria when we finally get that new pair of shoes we’ve been wanting since we could remember but being a shopaholic is can ultimately ruin your life. Be careful at those BOGO sales.