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Therapy for Shopping Addiction

Goda Brzozauskaite
  • Dec 16, 2021
  • 5 min read
Shopaholic shopping woman holding many shopping bags excited

Shopping is a relaxing and fun hobby for some and an inevitable part of our everyday life for others. However, for some individuals, it may become an obsession. Sometimes it can be very difficult to get assistance because shopping addiction is generally tolerated and not stigmatized by society. 

In addition to possible financial problems, individuals may be unable to relax or feel happy without buying something. In the end, they fall into a shopping addiction, also known as a compulsive buying disorder. This addiction is marked by uncontrollable impulses and cravings to spend money despite all consequences.

Don't worry if you recognize yourself in all that has been said so far. The good news is that this problem may be completely remedied with in-person or online therapy. It's critical to realize that you're not alone and that online counseling is always accessible.

Is Shopping Addiction Therapy for Me?

Therapy for shopping addiction may be the ideal answer for you if you believe you are overspending or buying useless items and get rid of the money as quickly as possible.

Try to pay attention to some of the possible symptoms of shopping addiction to see if therapy is what you require.

However, shopping addiction can be difficult to detect because it may be hidden behind your everyday behavior. Shopping is a vital part of our everyday activities, and the boundary between what is normal and what becomes obsessive over time can be thin.

If you feel you're on the verge of becoming a shopaholic, keep an eye out for the following signs of a shopping addiction:

  • Emotional and mental symptoms of a shopping addiction: Low self-esteem, lack of control over one's actions, difficulties making everyday life decisions, increased emotions of unjustifiable worry, anger, or rage whenever someone tries to address your problem.
  • Behavioral addiction symptoms: Increased online and/or in-person shopping (mostly for unnecessary items), feelings of exaggerated ecstasy or happiness after each purchase (even the lightest), lack of interest in your usual hobbies or aspirations, lying about your purchases, and hiding your financial situation, denial that you have a problem, and disagreements with friends or family.
  • Financial symptoms of a shopping addiction: Setting a spending plan for shopping but frequently surpassing it, not being capable of paying your bills or fixed living expenses, getting into greater debts because you shop even when you don't have enough money, no control over how you spend your payrolls, cutting the budget for food or drink and choosing to spend the money on things that are less relevant or appropriate.

How Does Therapy for Shopping Addiction Work?

Any therapeutic procedure, whether it’s online therapy or in-person treatment, is strongly suggested for people suffering from addictions. It’s not simply dependent on pharmacotherapy but delivers in-depth issue resolution and assistance.

The most common causes of addiction lie buried in behavioral patterns developed over many years. Whether you choose online counseling or in-person practices, with the help of your therapist, you can develop quality coping skills that will replace destructive habits and dramatically alter your life for the better.

Over time, many individuals who suffer from shopping addiction acquire more significant psychological issues, such as chronic depression, acute anxiety, or even paranoid behavior.

In this scenario, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most appropriate therapeutic option since it is a very successful treatment for all types of behavioral problems, including shopping addiction.

CBT begins by addressing all of the problems that arise due to how individuals think. Specific thinking patterns can become obsessive over time and are the major goal of therapy in this therapeutic approach. CBT works on the premise that our ideas are simpler to modify than our emotional or behavioral role models.

After identifying the cognitive impulses that lead to shopping addiction, we can adjust other social, mental, or emotional aspects of our lives.

The transformation begins with us, how we think, and the actions we choose to express. CBT may tremendously assist us in changing our negative state of mind and specific stream of thoughts, allowing us to concentrate on much more productive and helpful ways of thinking and acting.

In addition to reducing the negative effects of addiction, therapy can help restore relationships you may have lost due to your addiction. It will help you reconnect with your friends and family members, change your attitude toward your colleagues, and assist in establishing a proactive outlook on your finances.

Online Therapy for Shopping Addiction

Online therapy may be the best choice for you if you are wondering how to stop your shopping addiction. This kind of therapy is particularly beneficial due to its simplicity. It also reduces the danger of social criticism and stigmatization (which might occur while visiting a clinic or therapeutic practice in person). 

It lets you communicate with your therapist daily, as many times as you desire, from any location, and through a variety of platforms (video call, audio call, or online messaging).

Because it gives us the power to set our limits and preferences in our therapy process, online therapy greatly simplifies our communication and the treatment itself. Most people with shopping addiction claim to have had nothing less than a perfectly positive experience with a chosen therapist.

However, despite its many advantages, this type of treatment does have certain disadvantages. Initially, the online therapy process might be a bit slow, especially if a person is undergoing messaging therapy. But, on the other hand, it gives you the option of speaking with a therapist daily.

Also, online therapy is not suitable for severe psychological disorders such as schizophrenia, mania, or severe depression. In-person therapy is much more suited for these problems.

Ways to Cope With Shopping Addiction

There are different approaches and ways to turn the behavior into more productive or even pleasant actions as with any addiction. Addiction therapy is one of the most common approaches to the problem, as it enables us to examine our behavior and change it into a functional plan. 

However, there are numerous ways to cope with our problem and live a natural and pleasant life besides shopping addiction counseling.

Some of these ways include:

  • Participation in various creative and occupational treatments, such as art, pottery, drama, dance, or photography. These activities will help you find you need sources of joy and, over time, reduce the negative consequences of shopping addiction.
  • Enabling a family member or a friend to take care of your finances and everyday shopping so that you may recover yourself from accumulated harmful behaviors and lessen addiction symptoms.
  • Transferring all funds to the card and restricting all online purchasing channels will decrease the danger of overspending money.
  • Plan to go on the inevitable shopping with people you trust the most to help you manage your behavioral urges and avoid maintaining addiction.
  • Participating in online support networks of individuals who have the same problem as you, so you can share your experience and learn from others.

Therapy for Shopping Addiction Can Help You

If you believe you've acquired a shopping addiction, don't be hesitant to get help right away. You are not alone in this. Your therapist will help you find coping strategies, reshape your thoughts, and restore connections with the people you love.

If you would like to try online therapy, we at DoMental can connect you with a licensed therapist to help you overcome your addiction and enjoy life in more positive ways.