Shopping/ Spending / Debting Addiction

The term ‘Retail Therapy’ is sometimes given to someone who is spending money on frivolous things as a means of making themselves feel better or different. However, when taken to extremes it can become addictive, and lead to more severe difficulties.

A great number of people suffer from shopping/spending addiction and it causes us and our families emotional distress and a great deal of financial hardship as well.

WE use this compulsive and obsessive coping strategy to make us feel better about ourselves and our lives or situation whilst ignoring the uncomfortable reality of our normal everyday existence. We may be suffering from stress due to problems at work or the break up of a relationship, or anxiety around social situations, or deeper issues about grief and loss, but whatever the reason our compulsion to spend money in order to feel happy and comfortable can be very strong.

This addiction may not be publicized as much as alcohol, drug or gambling addiction but it still leads to the break-up of relationships, marriages and families, physical illnesses, emotional breakdowns and perhaps suicide.

  • Do you feel euphoric prior to a spending spree.
  • Do you fantasize about what you will buy or what you will spend money on.
  • Do you feel guilty and ashamed after your spending spree.
  • Do you spend time after your spree thinking about the money you have spent and feeling depressed.
  • Do you get in to debt because of your compulsive shopping/spending.
  • Do you hide how much you spend or the items you buy from your partner of friends.
  • Do you have to return items after you realize how much you have spent.
  • Do you and your partner get tense and argue about finances because of your spending.
  • Does your partner or a friend tell you they are worried about your spending or suggest you may be addicted to shopping.
  • Have you ever committed or thought of committing an illegal act to finance your shopping binge

If you have answered yes to any of these questions then you may have an addiction to shopping/spending. The Living Room has a long history of effectively helping people with addiction, and shopping/spending addiction can be successfully handled in the same way as other addictions by applying similar approaches. Talking to others who understand addiction in group can help us to discover, understand and address the underlying issues that contribute to our addiction. Please give us a call to arrange a free assessment and free support.

When clients come to The Living Room we recommend they maintain abstinence from all forms of addiction to help them to begin to recover and learn new healthy coping strategies to resist urges.

For futher information, please see:

www.nhs.uk/Livewell/addiction/Pages/Addictionwhatisit.aspx