With one-click ordering, email sales in your inbox, and ads all over social media, it’s never been so easy to blow your budget on impulse buys. But when does a shopping habit – online or down at the mall – become a problem? Is it possible to be addicted to shopping?
The medical definition of addiction varies slightly depending on the source, but is generally accepted to be a chronic behavioral pattern that is compulsive and continued, despite negative consequences.
For people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol, the negative consequences may be obvious: incarceration, physical problems, and broken relationships.
If you have a compulsive shopping problem, the consequences may not be as dire as a fatal overdose. But, it still can wreak havoc on your life.
- Do you find yourself taking out more and more credit in order to buy the things you want?
- Are you having trouble paying your bills?
- Do you feel bad after a shopping binge?
- Has anyone in your life told you that they think you might have a problem?
Think honestly about how compulsive spending is having an effect on your life, and how it makes you feel.
You might even consider setting a test for yourself: Can you go a whole week without buying anything besides food, gas, and other basic items? What about a month? If you can’t, you might have a problem.
All in all, the only requirement for seeking help is that you don’t want to live that way any more, and you feel like you’re having trouble stopping on your own.
Or, a more customized recovery program might be helpful.