Shopaholic: Signs and Symptoms You Have a Shopping Addiction

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Shopping Addiction Symptoms,  Effects and  Causes

A shopping addict in women is a female who shops compulsively and who may feel like they have no control over their behavior.
Up to 6 percent of Americans are so-called shopaholics. And with retailers ramping up their promotions on TV and even more intensely online, this number is likely to rise. In our society, the phrase “shop till you drop” translates as fun and frivolous, but when spending presents a real problem, the glamor fades.

There are different types of Shopping or Spending Addictions and they are as follows:
Shopaholics who want the image of being a big spender and love flashy items
Bargain seekers who purchase items they don’t need because they are on sale
Compulsive shopaholics who shop when they are feeling emotional distress
Collectors who don’t feel complete unless they have one item in each color or every piece of a set
Trophy shopaholics who are always shopping for the perfect item
Bulimic shoppers who get caught in a vicious cycle of buying and returning

What Causes an Addiction to Shopping?
Some people develop shopping addictions because they essentially get addicteniversity, sd to how their brain feels while shopping. As they shop, their brain releases endorphins and dopamine, and over time, these feelings become addictive. A professor in applied health sciences, Engs claims that ten to fifteen percent of the population may be predisposed to these feelings.

Signs of a Shopaholic
In some cases, it may be difficult to tell if you are, or a loved one is, a shopaholic. Many people adore shopping, and many people also spend too much money while engaging in this activity. It is important to note that going a shopping spree once in a while does not mean you are a shopping addict. However, there are several signs and symptoms shopping addicts display that you may want to look for.

You often purchase things you don’t need or didn’t plan to buy
You’re easily tempted by items that you can do without. A sixth candle for your bedroom dresser, a new iPod case, even though yours is fine…you get the idea. You’re particularly vulnerable if you’ve admitted to having an “obsession,” like shoes or designer handbags. Just because your splurges tend to stick to one category doesn’t make them any more rational.

You feel anxious on the days you don’t shop

It’s one thing to feel anxious if you haven’t had your morning cup of joe, but if you’re feeling on edge because you haven’t swiped your debit card all day, be concerned. Shopaholics have reported feeling “out of sorts” if they haven’t had their shopping fix, and have even admitted to shopping online if they couldn’t physically pull away from their day’s responsibilities.

An argument or frustration sparks an urge to shop
Compulsive shopping is an attempt to fill an emotional void, like loneliness, lack of control, or lack of self-confidence. Shopaholics also have a tendency to suffer from mood disorders, eating disorders, or substance abuse problems. So if you tend to binge on comfort food after a bad day, you may be more likely to indulge in a shopping spree too.

You try to conceal your shopping habits
If you’re hiding shopping bags in your daughter’s closet or constantly looking over your shoulder for passing co-workers as you shop online, this is a possible sign that you’re spending money at the expense of your family, your loved ones, or even your job.

Purchases are followed by feelings of remorse
This guilt doesn’t have to be limited to big purchases, either; compulsive shoppers are just as often attracted to deals and bargain hunting. Despite any remorse that follows, though, shopaholics are adept at rationalizing just about any purchase if challenged.

You experience a rush of excitement when you buy
Shopaholics experience a “high” or an adrenaline rush, not from owning something, but from the act of purchasing it. Experts say dopamine, a brain chemical associated with pleasure, is often released in waves as shoppers see a desirable item and consider buying it. This burst of excitement can become addictive.

Emotional Symptoms.
Shopping addicts may try to hide their addiction, and if a loved one is addicted to shopping, they may try to hide it from you. If you hide credit card bills, shopping bags or receipts, you may be a shopaholic. In some cases, shopaholics may try to hide their addiction by lying about just one element of it. For instance, a person may admit they went shopping, but they may lie about how much they spent.

Some of the other emotional symptoms you may notice from a shopaholic include:
Shopping as a way to feel less guilty about a previous shopping spree
Harming relationships due to spending or shopping too much
Losing control of the shopping behavior
Physical Symptoms of a Shopping Addiction
Spending more than they can afford
Shopping as a reaction to feeling angry or depressed

Although most addictions have physical symptoms related to them, shopping addictions may not. In most cases, the symptoms you experience due to your shopping addiction will be emotional in nature. The physical evidence of a shopping addiction may include a declining financial situation.

Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of a Shopping Addiction
The short-term effects of a shopping addiction may feel positive. In many cases, you may feel joy and happy after completing a shopping. However, these feelings are often mixed with anxiety or guilt, and in most cases, the guilt or anxiety may propel you back to the store for even more shopping.

The long-term effects of a shopping addiction can vary in intensity and scope. Many shopping addicts face financial problems, and they may become overwhelmed with debt. In some cases, they may simply max out their credit cards, but in other cases, they may take out a second mortgage on their home or charge purchases to their business credit card. If you are addicted to shopping, your personal relationships may also suffer. You may end up getting a divorce or distancing yourself from your parents, children or other loved ones.

Shopping Addict Drugs: Possible Options
That a drug called memantine may be able to help shopaholics. Designed to treat Alzheimer’s, this drug may be able to help shopaholics make decisions more clearly, and it may also help them to avoid compulsive behavior.

Medication Side Effects
The side effects of these drugs vary depending upon which medication you decide to use. If you decide to take antidepressants, for instance, you may experience any of the following side effects:

Inability to fall asleep at night
Feeling tired or fatigued a lot
Feelings of anxiousness
Unexplained sweating
Ideally, you should speak with your doctor about possible side effects before you start taking any medication.

Medication Overdose
If your doctor decide to treat your addiction with medication, you should always take your medication as directed. If you take too much of any prescription medication, you may risk experiencing an overdose.

Drug Addiction, Dependence and Withdrawal in Shopaholics
Withdrawal symptoms may vary from person to person, but according to the Chicago Tribune, many shopping addicts will experience withdrawal symptoms that are similar to the withdrawal symptoms experienced by people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. If you feel irritable, depressed or out of control after shopping, you may be experiencing withdrawal, and you may need to get help.

Depression and Shopping
Nearly two-thirds of all shopaholics struggle with depression or anxiety. In order to effectively treat your shopping addiction, you may also need to deal with your other mental health issues. Ideally, when searching for a recovery program, you should try to find a recovery program that can address both aspects of your addiction.

Dual Diagnosis: Substance Abuse and Shopping
In some cases, shopping addictions can be related to a substance abuse issue. If you believe that you are, or a loved one is, struggling with substance abuse and a shopping addiction, it is time to get help. With the right professional shopping addiction treatment, you will be able to gain control over your life again.

Getting Help for a Shopping Addiction
It isn’t fun to feel out of control or depressed about shopping too much. It isn’t pleasant to lose those close to you due to the arguments that may occur as a result of your shopping addiction. If you are, or a loved one is, struggling with a shopping addiction, it is time to get help now.

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