One addiction that seems to be getting an increased level of focus is that of compulsive shopping. This terrible addiction sees huge numbers of individuals trying to cope with it each and every day of their lives. Compulsive shopping disorders can be a seasonal thing, often getting worse around Christmas time.
This blog post will take a closer look at how to spot this disorder, plus more importantly perhaps uncover some ways to actually get to grips with it.
The official term for compulsive shopping is called “Oniomania”. The reason why it is classed as a disorder is that it is behavioural based, with sufferers feeling the need to purchase items that they have no specific need for. Furthermore and perhaps even more serious is the fact that these sufferers may not necessarily have the ability to afford just what they are buying.
According to research, over two-thirds of people are believed to be affected by some kind of compulsive shopping disorder. It is not uncommon for these people to have difficulties in forming relationships.
There are many negative consequences to Oniomania. They can range from physical, emotional and of course financial.
Five Pairs Instead of One
Very often it will be a concerned friend or family member that will be able to spot the signs of this disorder, before the individual themselves can even notice these things. Some of the tell-tale signs might well include:
- Lying about the problem
- Broken relationships
- Compulsive purchases
Of course, if this situation is allowed to go un-checked then it can spell financial ruin. Sadly this disease seems to be affecting more and more youngsters. The reality is that debt ridden teens sometimes have to turn to their parents to help them out of the financial mess that they have got themselves into. Often the only solution is for the parents to oversee guarantor loans for their children.
As with many other addictions the hardest part is getting the individual to actually admit that something is wrong. Only after this can steps be taken to curb and treat the addiction.
There is a wide range of differing treatments. Some will be location dependant, whilst others might well suit different forms of this addiction. The most common treatments include:
- Financial counselling
- Behavioural therapy
- Self-help books
Once the individual has recognised that there is a problem they will then be in a much better position to help themselves get free of it. Some of the changes in behaviour that can really help in this situation include the following:
- Make a list before shopping, checking the items twice to ensure only necessary things get purchased.
- Disposing of credit and charge cards that often serve to fuel a spending spree
- Seeking out alternatives to shopping
- Taking a relative or friend with you when you go shopping
Sarah Fox is a freelance writer who has first-hand experience regarding shopping addictions. In the past she had to help her friend with guarantor loans in her fight against the disorder.