Shopping Addiction Essay

Words: 1759
Pages: 8

What Shopping Can Lead To
What is shopping? Is shopping something we do for fun, for fashion, or to make us happy? Is shopping in our culture? Is shopping something we have learned from our parents, growing up? Shopping can be defined in many ways, but when does shopping become a problem? In “Shopping Spree, or Addiction” by Heather Hatfield, MD, she says “shopping can be one of America’s favorite past-times, but shopping can also lead to a self-destructive addiction that will cause financial disaster (1-2).” I’ll be going over two main factors, credit cards and the mall environment, that cause a shopping addiction, along with the type of illness, depression, that also causes a shopping addiction. I’ll also talk about the treatment
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There are many warning signs to look out for in individuals who are addicted to shopping. Some of the signs to look out for are spending over budget, compulsive buying, being obsessed with money, and feeling lost without credit cards or cash. Having a shopping addiction will cause arguments with other family members about the individual’s shopping habits. A shopping addiction is a vicious cycle that keeps repeating itself. For most people shopping is going to the mall with friends or to buy the latest style, but for compulsive shoppers, shopping makes them feel good. About ninety years ago German psychologist, Emil Kraepelin defined excessive shopping as an illness calling it “onioman,” (quoted in Velez-Mitchell 20-25) but only recently it’s being understood as a disorder. After individuals shop they feel guilty or depressed about how much they spent. In some cases individuals will feel so guilty they will go back to the store and return the merchandise thinking they will feel relief. Again once they return home they find the guilt has gone away, but then they will feel anxious. The outcome of feeling anxious will lead to another shopping spree. It’s an ongoing cycle. More than half the time shopping addicts have to hide their problem from loved ones to avoid arguments. Individuals will let merchandise pile up in their car until loved ones