Compulsive shopping: causes, symptoms and remedies

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Elia Tabuenca García
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Do you suffer from compulsive shopping? Perhaps you have noticed a certain tendency to make apparently unmotivated purchases and to accumulate clothes, shoes or objects of various kinds driven by the irrepressible urge to shop.

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You suffer from compulsive shopping? Perhaps you have noticed a certain tendency to make seemingly unmotivated purchases and to accumulate clothes, shoes or objects of various kinds driven byunstoppable urge to shop.

Rationally, we realize how these purchases can be useless or excessive, yet the mind cannot react to keep them under control and to limit them. Here then is that the purchase follows an impulse that if it becomes too frequent can damage you from a social, economic, working and relational point of view.

Lo compulsive shopping it is not recognized as a disorder by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). We rather speak of compulsive shopping syndrome, an impulse control disorder that leads to a compulsive desire to shop, and shopping addiction (“shopaholism”).


Causes of Compulsive Shopping

Compulsive shopping is part of the impulse control disorders. It usually occurs in people young people who have recently achieved economic independence. We are talking about young people between the ages of 20 and 30.

Compulsive shopping could be related to desire to fill an emotional void, trying to intervene with the purchase of material objects that can lead to at least momentary satisfaction. Just because the satisfaction of the new purchase will not last long, you will be ready to buy something new in a short time.

Le causes of compulsive shopping can be tied up in the presence of some particular conditions that can affect the psychological sphere of the person, such as anxiety disorders, mood disorders and impulse control, but also food disorders and drug use.

Symptoms of Compulsive Shopping

Il main symptom of compulsive shopping is the irrepressible desire to buy something. The person involved perceives that this is an out of control situation and is unable to appease their impulse to buy, despite the efforts they try to put in place.

In episodes of compulsive shopping you buy things you don't really need or that you already have. Due to the accumulation habit, one risks forgetting which objects are already in one's possession. You may find yourself in a state of anxiety or tension just before you go shopping.

Once you have completed your purchases, they arrive feelings of euphoria and satisfaction. You get the impression that you have given a positive response to your wishes. You feel gratified and relieved. One has the impression of having found relief from the condition of anxiety and dissatisfaction that was present until recently.

Shortly afterwards, there are inevitable emotions very different from the satisfaction that can be given by having done shopping. There is no lack of frustration and guilt. You realize that you have acted following an unstoppable impulse e you are not really happy with the things you just bought.

Here then is that initially you feel a real one urgency in wanting to buy something new. You feel sad, bored or angry. Snap the spring that pushes people to applan your purchases down to the smallest detail, from the shops to visit to the payment method. And finally, here is the real moment of compulsive shopping, in which you buy everything that seems fabulous and indispensable at the moment. Momentary joy is followed by an immediate sense of shame and self-disappointment.

Some people may find themselves a constantly think about the object they would like to buy. They may feel anxious or depressed when they are unable to go shopping and they may even get to incurring debt to satisfy the need to shop. To be able to go shopping, those who are addicted could come to postpone their work commitments and tend to hide what you have bought from friends and family once back home.

Compulsive Shopping Remedies

Compulsive shopping can become a means for calm a state of anxiety, depression, dissatisfaction or lack of affection. In recent decades, more and more men and women have asked help to a psychologist to solve the problem of shopping addiction and compulsive shopping.

The buying craze can appear as early as 16-17 years old and turn into real compulsive shopping if it persists over time until it becomes a rather serious problem for the person who is the protagonist.

If compulsive shopping it's tied ad anxiety or depression, it should investigate with the help of an expert what the causes are of these psychological states. Once you have solved your personal problems, the episodes of compulsive shopping could thin out and disappear.

Compulsive shopping could be related to food disorders o other types of addictions. Also in this case, the intervention of an expert would be necessary to understand the overall picture of the person's psychological state and their experience.

If you find that your shopping addiction occurs mostly when you are alone, try to go out in company as much as possible when you need to go shopping, so that friends can make you think and advise you on what purchases are really necessary.

Another very simple remedy to avoid hasty purchases is to leave the house with money counted when you go shopping and to do not bring any credit card with you. In any case, these are temporary solutions that allow savings but that do not act on the deeper causes.

When the problem is represented by purchases from the internet, you should try to use your free time in a different way, moving away from smartphones, tablets and PCs. But those who can't help but buy would probably still find a ploy to go shopping even in difficult conditions. If compulsive shopping is causing you serious relationship and financial problems, anxiety and depression, don't hesitate to discuss your situation with an expert.

Marta Albè

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