Shopping is a chore for some, a joy for most but for some it’s an addiction identified by varying labels, and commonly understood as compulsive shopping. This condition mainly afflicts women and a trawl through the net gives myriad reasons for the disorder.
Women are particularly susceptible to developing a shopping addiction in an environment where worth and status are equated with appearance or possessions. However, understood as an addiction, the condition differs little from other compulsive addictions such as smoking and gambling.
As with other habits, underlying insecurities lie behind the craving to shop. The consequences of compulsive shopping are wide-ranging.
Debt is a common factor in the lives of those afflicted, as well as on their families; secrecy and concealment of debt and purchases also goes with the territory. The personal damage to the sufferer is equally devastating with increased feelings of anxiety, self-loathing, lack of self-esteem and the secretive behavior needed to hide the problem can destroy personal relationships.
A supportive environment is a necessary one for those who want to engage with any form of compulsive shopping therapy. However, this does not mean that family or friends should minimize the nature of the problem. For those who are compulsive shoppers, before healing of any sort can happen, a clear acknowledgement that there is a problem is a prerequisite to engaging with treatment.
How to deal with compulsive shopping is very much a personal choice; the internet is a useful and reassuringly anonymous first step in the information gathering process and in the search for help – though beware of the quality of much commentary on the net. Professional counseling, self-help or group therapies are all proven mechanisms for dealing with addiction and for those who live in or near London, The Therapy Lounge hypnotherapy could be something that helps – hypnotherapy is now mainstream in the treatment of addictions and, as it is more targeted, it may lead to a speedier resolution for the sufferer.
There are many testimonies on the net of sufferers from this condition overcoming the addiction. What they have in common is admitting the existence of the problem in the first instance and then seeking out the treatment most suited to the individual and to their circumstances.