Also called compulsive shopping, compulsive buying, compulsive debting, shopping addiction or compulsive buying disorder. It is defined by the effects of excessive shopping on the person and those around them. It often involves unnecessary, spontaneous and emotionally driven purchases that can adversely affect the individual. A defining feature is that compulsive spending continues despite the adverse effects it brings.
As with many illnesses of this nature, the addiction is associated with the feeling the compulsive action creates rather than the physical act itself. A tolerance can develop towards this feeling which results in the addiction escalating
Compulsive spending disorder can occur in many areas of life: fashion, homeware, property, electronics … the list is endless. There appear to be some common traits which when found together in an excessive pattern, can be indicative of a disorder.
In considering this condition ask yourself:
Aside of the obvious financial implications of addictive or compulsive spending there are other far reaching effects. Emotionally, the pursuit of the “fix” of shopping may bring isolation or depression, anxiety, guilt and shame. In regards to relationships, it may make you more secretive and your need to maintain your addiction may lead to dishonesty and deception.
What defines a shopping addiction, rather than someone who spends too much, is an inability to curb or stop your spending despite negative consequences.
At Camino we have worked with addictions of this nature and we look to create a safe and secure environment in which to explore not only these compulsions but more importantly, the emotions associated with them.
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