Shopping addiction

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by Guest Posts on Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:18 am

Shopping addiction

Is it possible to have an addiction to spending money?

I have, over the course of two years, been bailed out of debt four times through spending money excessively.

The main factor seems to be shopping. It can be food or clothes shopping - I seem to have an impulsiveness and lack of control in this area.

The pattern seems to be when feeling low I spend money. I seem incapable of budgeting effectively, despite how strongly I may convince myself "it will work this time". I have become a compulsive liar because of this and it has destroyed not only relationships with parents but with a few friends too. It played a huge role in the break up between myself and my boyfriend. Not only has it led to having a busting full wardrobe of clothes I don't even want, it's led to an increase in weight - and all of this makes me feel worse and makes me want to repeat the pattern.

Basically, I was wondering if there is a sort of list or steps I could follow to help me fall out of this pattern.
Thank you for your help. Sarah
talkhealth team on behalf of a guest visitor

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Teyhou Smyth
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Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:48 am

by Teyhou Smyth on Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:38 pm

Re: Shopping addiction

Hi Sarah

Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Addictions can absolutely take place in different ways and compulsive shopping and spending that is as inappropriate, excessive, and out of control and like other addictions, it basically has to do with impulsiveness and lack of control over one's impulses. The neurology of compulsive shopping is such that the hunt may be more rewarding than actually bagging a purchase. Anticipation of a reward releases spurts of dopamine in the parts of the brain that keep you focused on gaining a prize, whether that’s a brownie or a leather jacket.

Buying something, on the other hand, ends the reward process "Once you’ve acquired it, nothing new is going to happen." That’s why shopping can turn into a true addiction: We crave that dopamine high, but it’s spending -- not having -- that produces it.

Please find more information on the nature of addictive behavior on my blogs ... addiction/ and ... addiction/

It also appears that there are a variety of issues that your habit stems from and I would recommend some CBT counseling in order to make effective changes. Please contact for for further information.

Thank you
Teyhou Smyth
Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Associate Professional Clinical Counselor ... _smyth.php

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