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Too Much of a Good Feeling: How Comfort Shopping Can Put You in Debt

June 22, 2015

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How comfort shopping isn't so comforting. A must read if you cope by shopping! via @shoeaholicnomore

Whether it’s during certain times of the year, or you’re a little indulgent all year ‘round –you may have a shopping addiction. It’s got a real scientific term and everything!

So your closet is bursting with clothing articles you’ve never worn before, shoes that are still in their original boxes, and a number of “as-seen-on-TV” miracle items you thought you couldn’t live without –for the time it took you to throw them into your shopping cart before completely forgetting about them.

A lot of folks will indulge in a moment of “retail therapy” from time to time when feeling a little under the weather –and few seem to notice when this behavior moves on from light-hearted “therapy” to full-on addiction.

And the truth is that among many social circles this behavior is chalked up to a joke; a “shopaholic” or a power shopper (and some even view it as being thrifty, a compliment to the problem). With many slogans that exempt this addiction to shopping from other forms of self-destructive behaviors, shopping when we’re unhappy, depressed, stressed, or worse can have devastating effects on our quality of life and our relationships.

“Shop ‘till you drop”

In a world where consumerism is encouraged, it is hard to aptly identify and adapt to this financially and mentally debilitating habit. But help is on the way.

The first step to properly addressing any addiction is to identify it and establish a clear set of symptoms. Well, scientists have gone so far as to name the condition; an addiction to shopping is called “oniomania”.

Oniomania is a condition which is quantified by one’s impulsive behavior towards spending your hard earned cash with complete disregard to the social, financial, physical, and emotional consequences thereof.

An Addiction by Any other Name

The truth is, oniomania –or shopaholicism—is in many ways as dangerous as alcoholism, or any other debilitating impulsive habit.

The underlying reasons behind an addiction of this sort may be diverse, however the euphoria felt by those who satisfy their impulses is completely universal.

And with a view to this sense of euphoria we look for ways to mitigate the condition. Because the cause and effect are so similar to other addictions, those afflicted can look to other addiction treatment methods for help.

Much like an alcoholic or an over-eater, the withdrawal from an addiction to shopping can leave one full of anxiety, guilt, and feelings of extreme sadness.

Just like other addictions, self-harm comes in the form of loss of resources to lead a normal, healthy life. An addiction to shopping will often break the bank quickly –deepening the consequence to a point of serious mental suffering where a cycle develops and the addicted person shops more to relieve the pain.

Or so they think.

As the old adage goes; “I drink because I’m depressed, I’m depressed because I drink” –so does the perpetual cycle of damage that comes with a shopping addiction. People crumbled marriages, lost homes, and destroyed lives due to this serious addiction.

How to Cure a Shopaholic

The first step to curing the negative behavioral effects of oniomania is to stop the bleeding. And just as drug addicts or alcoholics will focus on their health to improve their situation, shopaholics will benefit from confronting their debts by making payment arrangements with creditors. Debt consolidation is a sure fire way to mitigate the bad feelings which cyclically prompt one to binge shop.

Beyond debt consolidation, counseling may also be required to identify the forces in your life that caused you to feel hollow enough to seek comfort through shopping. It’s never too late to start a day over, or turn over a new leaf.

Are you a shopaholic?

How comfort shopping isn't so comforting. A must read if you cope by shopping! via @shoeaholicnomore

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