Compulsive Shopping: Be Aware of Addictive Behaviors Over the Holidays
With the holidays on their way, extra spending is bound to happen. But, compulsive shopping can be attributed to the manifestation of the disease of addiction. A recovering addict may want to keep an eye on their shopping habits if they would like to remain vigilant in maintaining a healthy mindset in their recovery. Aside from abstaining from all mind-altering substances like alcohol and drugs, recovery can best be defined as practicing principles in all affairs and living a life according to balance in ease.
Looking Into Compulsive Shopping
It can be difficult to tell when the line is crossed between your standard holiday shopping and over-the-top, out-of-control, reckless, compulsive shopping, until it causes life to become completely unmanageable. Understanding the impulsive themes that lie underneath compulsive shopping, similar to an addictive mental disorder, can help prevent some of the disastrous consequences that may leave you left with little or no money, and in debt over what should be a joyous holiday season instead.
“The underlying rubric of the whole thing is to really get in touch with what it is you really need, and how to get that,” spoke April Lane Benson, psychologist and author of, “To Buy or Not to Buy.” She explained that this can be an effective solution, because often compulsive shoppers resort to overbuying materialistic products to fill voids in their life – similar to how addicts and alcoholics use their substances to numb pain in order to cope with the business of living. “You buy something, you’re in control of it,” says Benson. Process addictions like compulsive shopping fall parallel to alcoholism and drug addiction in this way because of that impulsivity and that attempt to ascertain order by purchasing on demand.
Another theme that can be attributed to why compulsive shopping occurs is that the individual has a problem facing the concept of death. Benson discussed her idea about consumerism by saying, “We buy as a way of trying to deal with our fears of death and the inevitability of death.” It would appear to be another way of stuffing feelings. When people don’t want to deal with feeling feelings, they buy products to suppress them because they have to avoid them at all costs. Numbing these types of feelings seems to be the distinct viable resourceful option, or the only thought of, effective one at the time. Benson suggests another thought might be force of habit. Some people might have been taught as children that merchandise was pleasurable when they were rewarded with it by their parents and/or family members instead of given time and loving affection. Instinctively, these children grew up believing that products and materialistic means would fill voids and create this everlasting sense of pleasure in their lives to fulfill them. This would work similarly in someone feeling deprived emotionally or financially and longing for something greater. Later in life and when equipped with more money to be financially stable enough, they may be quick to slip into a compulsive shopping habit to fill that void and get out of that deprived state, thinking it would solve their problems internally – yet in reality it would never satisfy their emotional hunger.
The signs are honestly there when you are reaching out for more materialistic products for yourself in excess, or especially to the point when you know you truly don’t need them and cannot afford them. It does become concerning when you have spent significant amounts of money, cannot afford your home, have become in debt, are having relationship problems because of your compulsive shopping, or it is causing interference with your career. These signs of unmanageability make typical daily functions uneasy and highlight why compulsive shopping is no longer traditional shopping. If you feel you have a problem and have crossed the line this holiday season, reach out to someone for help before you fall into a slippery slope of addictive patterns.Tags: Christmas, compulsive shopping, holiday season, holiday seasons, Holidays, shoppaholic, shopping addiction, shopping addictions, sober holidays, staying sober during the holidays, staying sober for the holidays, staying sober on Christmas