Everyone loves a good bargain. Shopping for back to school clothes, redecorating a room or getting those holiday gifts can be a fun experience. For many, shopping is done for occasions and necessities, but what do you do when it becomes an addiction? A survey released in New York Magazine estimates that 11 percent of Americans suffer from some form of shopping addiction. Before you go pointing fingers at the ladies, this survey found that men and women are equally likely to be running up their charge cards and shopping out of control.
What is shopping addiction? How do you know if you or a loved on are an addict? Keep reading. For a therapist in Charlotte, NC that you can trust, call Legacy Freedom. We can help!
Donald Black, MD, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa College of Medicine says that "compulsive shopping and spending are defined as inapproriate, excessive and out of control." While some believe there is a genetic predisposition to addictive behavior, addiction, whether it is shopping, drugs, gambling or sex, needs a trigger. Something has to happen to the person for them to feel like they need to shop.
Identifying if you or a loved one are a shopping addict can be tricky. Here are some signs to look for if you suspect there is a problem:
- Experiencing credit card withdrawal
- Not using cash to purchase items
- Exhibiting guilt or embarrassment after shopping
- Hiding purchases or lying about the items cost
- Describing shopping as a rush or a high
- Pushing off bills or financial responsibilities to shop
- Holding secret credit card accounts
- Compulsive spending
- Chronic overspending
- Constant cycle of returning to buy more
- Lying about how they spend or where
Experts agree that any of these signs should serve as a warning for family and friends that their loved one may have a shopping addiction. The recovery process for a shopping addict can be as difficult as the recovery process for a substance abuser. Many shopping addicts require professional financial help to be able to regain control of their finances and to pay off their excessive debt.
Many times there is an underlying mental illness or emotional need that is being covered up by the shopping addiction. Shopping makes the addict's brain feel good and distracts them from having to think about unpleasant issues or old wounds. By discovering the underlying motivators for the addiction, the addict can address those issues and begin to break free of their shopping addiction.
Affordable Addiction Therapist in Charlotte, NC
At Legacy Freedom of Charlotte, we specialize in helping people cope with their addictions and the underlying causes for these addictions. Whether you shop because you're sad or you're angry or are using it to self-medicate for another mental illness, we can help. Our approach to mental health care is unlike anything you have ever tried before. We utilize a holistic approach which allows us to treat the whole person, not just your shopping addiction.
Admitting you have a shopping addiction or that you are a compulsive spender is where your journey towards healing begins. Eliminate credit cards and checkbooks from your life. Some addicts find that they need to give control of their finances to someone else for a time. As you begin to heal and regain control of your spending, you can regain control of your finances. Avoid shopping alone as this is when most addicts say they are tempted to spend recklessly.
Learn more about our unique holistic approach to mental health through our blog and our website. The cycle of addiction doesn't have to continue. Get the help you need today by calling or clicking to connect with the care team at Legacy Freedom or to speak with an addiction therapist in Charlotte, NC. What are you waiting for? Do it today.