Having a shopping addiction is a very real problem that is affecting millions of people all over the globe, America in particular. But if it is such a problem, why do so many people become addicted to shopping?
You might think that women are more likely to become shopping addicts, yet actually, the stats are surprisingly similar.
Professionals have slightly different theories about what might be the cause of this behavior, but the underlying thought is that by making a purchase, the shoppers have the idea that it will relieve some kind of emotional pain that they are going through. This emotional pain can range from anything, from self-esteem issues to a trauma in childhood.
Shopping addiction is such a problem in America, that a Faculty at the University of Bergen has developed new methods to measure the severity of a shopping addiction, which is commonly known as 'The Bergen Shopping Addiction Scale'.
Although shopping addictions have been around for years, it doesn't help that modern technology has made shopping extremely accessible and convenient, so much so it has the potential of sending those with a shopping problem into overdrive.
Combine online shopping with the ease of getting a credit card, the power of marketing, and the social element that comes with social media, and you will see why we have a big problem.
In certain cases, it may be difficult to tell if you or someone you know is addicted to shopping. Many people love shopping and do it regularly, but that does not by any means mean that you are addicted.
There are several signs and symptoms that you can look out for that could point out an addiction. For example, like all addicts, those that have an addiction to shopping will often try to hide it from others. So if you try to hide credit card bills, shopping bags or receipts, there is a very real possibility that you are a shopaholic.
Some other emotional symptoms may include spending more than you can afford, shopping as a reaction to an emotion, shopping harming relations, and feeling a loss of control.
Although in the short term a shopping addiction may give you a feeling or positivity, these feelings are often short-term and mixed with feelings of anxiety or guilt. In many cases, this could lead to more shopping.
If you are suffering from a shopping addiction or you think you know someone who is, there are many routes that you are able to take in order to get help. There are numerous programmes and support groups in place to help those with a shopping addiction.