Compulsive shopping disorder is just like any other obsessive-compulsive condition such as nail-biting, overeating, or lying. It is also known as spending addiction or shopaholism, and there are a number of signs that can help to ascertain whether or not you are addicted to shopping and spending. You know that you are turning into a shopaholic, when your cupboard starts overflowing with clothes, bags, and accessories that you have never even used; or when you frequently feel an urge to spend even on the things that you do not really require. You may also start feeling that it is the only way you can get some relief from stress, worry, and depression. These are some major and early signs of this disorder.
This can get both addictive and destructive, just like any other substance addiction. The consequences of shopping like an addict can be severe, including extreme financial hardships, crossing credit card limits drastically, debt problems, and in extreme cases, even certain types of crime. Shopping disorder tends to affect more women than men; they often land up in a mall to buy one or two things, but end spending more than required, and return home with many bags, instead of just one or two. Such addicts will frequently find themselves planning and thinking about their next opportunity, and the list of stuff that they will be buying. If early intervention is not sought for this problem, treating it in the later stages can be very difficult, and there would be a lot of other complications to tackle.
Compulsive shopping can be treated easily, before it turns into a very serious problem. This can be done, if the problem is identified by your friends or your family, and help is sought at the right time. Support from friends and family is essential for you to successfully overcome its consequences. Therefore, make sure that you talk to them about it, and seek the required help and assistance for treatment. Following are some points that will help you to rectify this problem.
Avoid Shopping at Malls
It provides you with all the options required to spend aimlessly. Therefore, shopping at malls or online is a strict no-no. You can opt for a small store instead, to avoid buying what you do not require at all. This is the first step that is generally taken towards avoiding all kinds of temptations that can lead to excessive, unnecessary buying.
Avoid Shopping All by Yourself
When you do it all alone, there is no one but your own conscience, who can restrict you from spending. But then again, it is very easy to ignore the conscience and spend like there is no tomorrow. Hence, take a friend or a relative with you to shop, who can restrict you from going ahead with it unnecessarily. Also, make sure that the person you take along is not a shopaholic himself/herself.
Stick to the List
Before you can go shopping, prepare a list of the things that you "need" to purchase. Carry it along with you, and buy only the ones that are mentioned on it. Get a friend or relative to check the list for you.
Carry a Limited Amount of Cash and No Credit/Debit Cards
Do not carry your debit or credit card when you go shopping, and carry only a limited amount of cash so that you know that you need to restrict yourself to buying only what is possible within that amount.
Addiction of any kind is bad for your health and lifestyle. Hence, you must do everything you possibly can, to get rid of it.