Shopping Addiction: Its Impact & The Aftermath


Can a person ever really be addicted to shopping? 

It is, after all, something that most of us do on a weekly basis. Is it possible that it could fall into the same category of those most destructive of substance and alcohol issues - addiction itself? 

The answer is: yes. Addiction tends to mean a behavior that stimulates dopamine production in the brain. Dopamine makes us feel good; makes us feel happy - so we want to do anything that stimulates that feeling over and over again. If it’s shopping that gives us a dopamine rush, then there’s no question about it: shopping can indeed be addictive. 

When Is Shopping Addiction A Problem? 

Given that shopping is something much of us have to do by necessity, it’s sometimes tricky to see where the line is. When is it just about servicing your need to buy things you need, and when has it crossed a line into being an addiction? 

While every case is different, there are a few telltale signs of when a shopping habit has become something more sinister: 
  • Shopping even when there is nothing you need or particularly want - you’re shopping for the sake of doing so. 
  • Shopping to cheer yourself up when you’re feeling low for other reasons. Retail therapy on occasion is one thing, but if your immediate thought when you’re in need of a pick-me-up is to shop, then that might be problematic. 
  • Suffering financial issues and a dented credit score as a result of spending more than you can afford. This might start mildly with a credit card debt, but over time, it will increase and become more and more problematic. 
  • If you go without shopping for a short while, feeling the urge to shop just to break the dry spell. Again, this is all the more problematic if there’s nothing you need and you just want to shop anyway.    

What Can Be Done About Shopping Addiction? 

There are two prongs of shopping addiction that need to be addressed. The first is the more immediate problem: dealing with the financial impact that results from the issue. 

Your credit score needs repairing as a priority, as credit scoring is used for all kinds of things these days. From that point on, you might need to enlist the help of professionals to aid in your quest for a better score. Be careful, though - some companies may do more harm than good, so do your research, read Parkview credit repair reviews and those of similar companies before you take the leap. You need to know how others have fared when using their services before you entrust any company with your financial affairs. 

With that side of shopping addiction taken care of, you can move into overcoming the problem itself. To begin with, cut up all of your credit cards and try to use cash only - it will help bring the reality of what you spend into stark relief. 

It’s also a good idea to enlist the help of a therapist, who can help identify the causes of your addiction and help you cope with the withdrawal. It might be a difficult process, but it’s one you absolutely need to go through. There’s no shame in falling foul of the dopamine rush that addiction can bring, but with strength and encouragement, you can move past it onto a better, brighter life.

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