For many people, a shopping spree is a splurge or a treat to celebrate a birthday, a big promotion or maybe as a holiday gift. However, some people spend like every day is a shopping spree. Those people are addicted to shopping. Much like a drug addict who is looking for their next high, shopping addicts are looking to score their next deal or receive their next package.
Shopping addiction has been linked to depression, loneliness, and anger. For those who feel isolated, shopping provides social interaction and gives them that gratifying high they've been looking for. Researchers have identified that some shopaholics experience blackouts during their shopping sprees and don't remember making their purchases. Still, others will take on second jobs or open secret lines of credit to hide their addiction so they can continue to shop.
While their friends and loved ones may be in the dark about the shopaholic's shopping addiction, the money woes are often harder to disguise. Collection agencies begin to call, the piles of unworn or unused merchandise become hard to ignore and, in some cases, if the addict has diverted money away from their bills to go shopping, their utilities may be cut off or their home foreclosed upon.
Social media has fed this disease as women around the world share the photos of their latest shopping haul. Obsessed with virtually 'keeping up with the Joneses' has left many women without friends or family. A twenty-six-year-old woman from China recently turned herself into police after she stole $290,000 from the accounting firm where she worked. The woman discovered a way to funnel the money into her accounts and then went shopping. Upon arriving at her home, the police found almost 1,000 lipsticks, bags, perfumes, and clothes. Many of the items were still unused. Her reason for stealing the money and buying the clothes, accessories, and cosmetics? She just wanted to show them off on social media.
How do you know if you have a shopping addiction? Compulsive buying follows four common phases. However, these behaviors and this addiction can be difficult to notice in friends or family members because the shopaholic often shops alone and hides purchases and debt. The four phases are as follows. For addiction therapy in Charlotte, NC you can trust, call Legacy Freedom.
- Anticipation - The addict feels the urge to shop. Whether it is in response to a bad day, a good day, an upsetting phone call or for no reason at all, once the addict feels this urge, they are unable to stop thinking about going shopping or making a purchase.
- Preparation - Some addicts research sales or styles before they shop, others just decide to go. The addict plans their shopping trip, from what to wear to where they will go to which credit cards have enough left on them to spend. Some addicts will return items to free up money on credit cards or to have the cash to spend so that no one can track their purchases.
- Shopping - Once the addict begins to shop, the pleasure center in their brain becomes stimulated. Depending on the length of their shopping addiction, the addict may need to spend more than ever before to achieve that high.
- Spending - The excitement builds into relief and a sense of euphoria as the addict completes their purchase. Feelings of guilt or shame may come shortly after or they may be filled with fear and rush to hide their purchases.
Dependable Addiction Therapy in Charlotte, NC
If you, or someone you love, are struggling with a shopping addiction, Legacy Freedom of Charlotte can help. We specialize in getting to the root of your addiction through our holistic approach to therapy in Charlotte, NC. Call to speak with a care team member today!