Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for pleasure. If we discover an activity that triggers the release of the neurotransmitter, we are more likely to repeat it. For some people, this activity is shopping. If you can’t help looking for things to buy, you might have a shopping addiction or a compulsive buying disorder. This desire becomes a problem when you keep buying things you do not require or cannot afford. Left untreated, it can lead to bad debt or bankruptcy. Shopping addiction treatment is a unique intervention designed for people with this misbehavior.
Shopping addiction is not widely studied yet because it is relatively new. There is no consensus on its legitimacy but as many as 18 million adults in the US report struggling with compulsive buying behavior. They buy things to feel good or to convey images of success. Signs of shopping addiction include:
- Frequent and obsessive purchases
- Shopping as a coping mechanism for stress
- Feelings of euphoria after every completed purchase
- Inability to stop buying items despite expressing regret
- Buying unnecessary items that are infrequently used or not at all
- Financial mismanagement. They exhaust their lines of credit and seek out new ones.
Compulsive buying disorder treatment resembles treatment for substance use because of the tendency similarities. As such, the treatment includes modalities are:
Family therapy– The addiction affects the lives of your immediate family. Involving these close members increases accountability for the behavior. The idea is to create or reinforce channels of communication. These sessions will encourage you to be more transparent about your spending and nudge you into accepting an accountability partner or someone who can oversee your finances until you recover.
CBT- Research has repeatedly demonstrated the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy in motivating behavioral change. As such, this intervention uncovers the underlying negative emotions responsible for your compulsion. CBT makes you aware of your cognitive distortions and helps you manage them.
Co-occurring disorders– A therapist for compulsive spending and shooting addiction will investigate this and other comorbidities and addictions. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and substance abuse might cause your compulsive buying or worsen, and addressing these illnesses is paramount to improving the outcome.
Financial Counseling– The addiction overrides reason. You will likely overlook your need to be frugal, save or live below your means when you feel the constant need to shop. Therefore, shopping addiction therapy in New Jersey includes a few sessions on financial responsibility. They address vices such as deceit and theft and offer insightful tips on handling money better and managing existing debt.
If untreated, compulsive shopping has the potential to spiral into a catastrophe. The probability of losing the trust of friends and family increases, and spiraling debt might make you lose your property or other valuable assets. The depression that comes from losing control of your situation and your money can encourage drug use. Avert this grim outlook by finding a therapist for shopping addictions. With their help, you will recover emotionally and financially and lead a more fulfilling life.
Please contact CTRLCare behavioral health at 609-237-0088 to get the help you need for shopping addiction.