Shopping addiction is a disorder in which an individual engages in a pattern of chronic, repetitive purchasing and shopping. The person can’t stop regardless of negative consequences. Compulsive buying disorder (CBD) is the term used by the American Psychiatric Association.
Some of us may think it’s merely irresponsibility with finances or lack of maturity. Also, some people believe a person can change his or her behavior. However, this damaging disorder is centered around the process of spending. It’s a ritual and the addict does not have control over it.
Compulsive shopping requires treatment, just as any other addiction or impulse control disorder. It’s similar to pathological gambling (gambling addiction).
Who is at Risk for Shopping Addiction?
Shopping is a part of life for most people whether it is in a store or online. For many, shopping is a pleasurable activity. A new shirt or dress, a fun trinket, colorful accessories, or new shoes can give any person a sense of reward. Humans experience a natural high when a reward is received. But, for some people, the pursuit of that reward can become compulsive and dangerous. Just as addiction to drugs and other behaviors, shopping addiction drives one to seek out the reward or “high.”
Approximately 6% of the American population is thought to have a shopping addiction. In fact, it usually begins in the late teenage years, and into the early twenties. This is an essential time in one’s life. For instance, in their late teens and early twenties most people begin to get credit cards, open bank accounts, and are mostly independent of their parents for the first time. A young person’s first credit card, or opportunity to spend for him or herself can be an exciting time. But, compulsive shopping can develop within this time frame.
Shopping Addiction and Mental Health Disorders
Spending money to get a reward of something new causes a release of dopamine in the brain. The rush of dopamine leads to a “high,” which is extremely mild for most people. Nonetheless, this rush of pleasure experienced by one who has just completed a purchase can be overwhelming.
Some mental health concerns may be more severe than others. But, anything from overly high expectations of oneself to bipolar disorder and other impulse control disorders may lead to and exacerbate, shopping addiction.
Escape From Reality
The fact is that almost anyone could potentially become addicted to shopping. After all, shopping is a pleasurable experience. Plus, there is a definite reward associated with the experience of spending money. For those addicted to shopping, this process serves as an escape from reality, relief from other disorders, or in conjunction with co-occurring disorders.
Whatever fuels shopping problems, serious negative consequences are inherent to the problem.
A Forever Recovery Understands the Intricacies of Shopping Addiction
At A Forever Recovery, we understand the difficulties one can experience with an out of control addiction. This is why we work with each to get to the cause of his or her problems and address them. This clears the path to recovery and significantly decreases the risks of relapse and the introduction of other destructive behavior.
We work on an open-ended basis to ensure that each person has accomplished the goals necessary for healthy survival after leaving treatment. Shopping addiction and its underlying causes can be overcome. Call us now to find out how.