Is Shopping an Addiction?


As absurd as this may sound, did you know that there is actually a term for people with a shopping addiction? It’s called compulsive shopping and spending. “Compulsive shopping and spending is described as a pattern of chronic, repetitive purchasing that becomes difficult to stop and ultimately results in harmful consequences. It is defined as an impulse control disorder and has features similar to other addictive disorders without involving the use of an intoxicating drug” says American Psychiatric Association. There are many social and cultural factors that tend to increase the addictive potential of shopping with television and internet, it just makes shopping a whole lot more accessible.

What are the warning signs of compulsive shopping and spending?

• Shopping or spending money as result of feeling disappointed, angry, or scared

• Having arguments with others about shopping or spending habits

• Feeling lost or confused without credit cards

• Buying items on credit or layaway that would not be purchased with cash

• Feeling guilty, ashamed, embarrassed, or confused after shopping or spending money

• Lying to others about purchases made or how much money was spent

• Thinking excessively about money

• Spending a lot of time juggling accounts or bills to accommodate spending

Sometimes it’s good to take a second and ask yourself if you really need the item before purchasing it. Another thing one can do is just simply take a walk without credit cards or anything money if you are the type to shop when feeling angry, upset or down. This will ease the need to shop and spend money. But if you have an excessive addiction to shopping, it’s good to know that there are counseling and therapy also available.