More About Shopping Addiction Treatment Center
For most people, going shopping means buying a few items for themselves, a family member, or occasionally a friend. However, some people use this trip to the mall as a destructive fix for increasing stress levels, to fill an emotional void, or to prevent negative feelings. Commonly known as impulsive buyers, such people have closets full of unused items wrapped neatly in their original packaging with intact price tags.
While many may regard it as a moral flaw, the truth is that this impulsive behavior is often driven by an underlying psychiatric disorder, shopping addiction. Characterized by a preoccupation with shopping, this addiction can even turn people into criminals to get enough money to feed their spending habits.
Fortunately, shopping addiction help is available in many rehabs in all parts of the world. These recovery centers have dedicated programs with counseling, therapy, and support groups, to help people overcome their impulsive spending behavior with healthy coping mechanisms for a better life.
When to Join a Shopping addiction Treatment Center: Warning Signs
According to research, most impulsive spenders get a neurochemical rush, similar to the one experienced with cocaine, every time they spend money. Some even experience a dopamine surge in the brain that triggers feelings of reward and pleasure. Most of these spenders become intoxicated by their dopamine, potentially leading to shopping addiction.
Luckily, shopping addiction is entirely manageable, and the first step towards recovery involves recognizing the problem. You or someone you love might be suffering from this addiction if they exhibit the following signs:
- Compulsive buying, especially when the purchased items are not needed
- Feelings of shame, embarrassment, or guilt after overspending
- Feelings of happiness and euphoria while spending money
- Uncontrollable spending beyond your affordable limit
- Hiding the problem (destroying credit card bills, hiding new purchases, etc.)
- Frequent lying to and manipulating the loved ones to continue shopping
- Using shopping as a coping mechanism for negative emotions, such as sadness, depression, or anger
- Preoccupation with money and store sales
- Continuing to shop despite the negative consequences
- Exhibiting withdrawal symptoms, including sadness, anxiety, and discomfort when the sources of money are taken away
While identifying the symptoms of shopping addiction, it is critical to look for any other issues that might co-occur. According to experts, this type of addiction often exists with other disorders, including mood disorders, eating disorders, impulse control disorders, and substance abuse. For instance, people with mania due to bipolar disorder are likely to spend money recklessly. However, these habits only occur during manic episodes and may subside as they are over. Similarly, a person may overspend on unnecessary items under the influence of a drug.
Because of these similar symptoms, it is important to get assessed at a rehab for shopping addiction where an expert can guide you better about your underlying issues.
Seeking Help From Shopping Addiction Treatment Centers
If you feel like your habit of impulsive spending is disturbing your quality of life and creating problems, opting for shopaholic therapy is the best solution. This therapy is readily available at various addiction rehabs and aims to manage the symptoms related to shopping addiction for long-term recovery. Some rehabs also prefer using the medication as an adjunct for better outcomes.
Because of the complexity of shopping addiction, therapy is often considered a first-line treatment for many individuals. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most important therapeutic modality offered as a part of treatment. CBT involves working with a therapist to unmask faulty thoughts and problematic beliefs, followed by their adequate management. The goal is to replace these negative thoughts with positive ones containing healthy coping mechanisms.
Additionally, shopping addiction counseling and support groups are made available to clients for better adherence to their recovery path.
Unfortunately, no specific medication has been approved for the management of shopping addiction so far. Nevertheless, some rehabs consider using certain off-label medications to help recover. One such medication that has shown promising results is memantine, a cognitive enhancer used mainly for managing dementia. Despite limited research, memantine has been found to reduce impulsive buying while improving impulsivity levels. In case of any co-occurring disorders, additional medications might be prescribed depending on the nature and severity of the co-occurring issue.
What are the different types of money-spending addiction?
Most people with an underlying shopping addiction are likely to fall into one of the following types:
Compulsive shopaholics who shop under emotional distress
Trophy shopaholics who are always in search of the perfect item
Shopaholics who adore flashy items and wish to be recognized as big spenders
Bargain seekers who are easily tempted to purchase items they don’t need just because they are on sale
Bulimic shoppers who are stuck in a vicious cycle of buying and returning
Collectors who do not feel complete unless they buy one item in every color
How can I know whether I have a shopping addiction or just enjoy going on shopping sprees?
Sometimes, it can be difficult for people to determine whether they love shopping or suffer from a compulsive buying disorder. While both share a few similarities, some key factors set them apart. A shopping spree involves experiences where you spend higher sums of money than usual or end up buying more items than you usually do. Nevertheless, this overspending only extends to the amount of money you can easily afford to waste. These sprees are more commonly experienced around occasions, such as around Christmas or just before a birthday party.
On the other hand, shopping addiction takes place at any given time and involves overspending money more than you can afford. This type of addiction includes multiple shopping trips within a short time period, each exhibiting compulsive shopping habits.
Why should I go to an inpatient shopping addiction treatment center?
Among the chief benefits of choosing a residential shopping rehab is its ability to provide the client with a supportive and controlled environment for recovery. Such rehabs are usually free from any unauthorized external influence, allowing the residents to get free from all types of stressors that fuel destructive behaviors.
If a shopping addict develops additional health issues, such as alcohol addiction or substance abuse, most residential rehabs also provide treatment for them. As a result, clients can expect to make a complete recovery soon while minimizing the risk of relapse in the future.