SAN DIEGO, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- While shopping is usually viewed as a leisure activity by the general public, for one shopper in twenty, the habit is a process addiction. For these "shopaholics," trips to the mall are more than holiday buying and trying on new work clothes. Rather, their "retail therapy" is an expensive habit that can spiral into financial and emotional disaster.
"Addiction is a complex behavior," said Dr. Stephen Grinstead (http://www.therapistfinder.com/TherapistDetail.cfm?id=036560), licensed marriage and family therapist of CAMFT, "and most addictions fall in one of two categories: process or substance. Shopping addiction is a process addiction, similar to gambling, spending, eating, and sexual addictions that can have life-altering consequences."
Shopping addictions work like this: When one is feeling lonely, depressed, or stressed, s/he heads to a number of retailers. After compulsively buying at a number of stores, often on credit, guilt sets in and the compulsive shopper tucks away recently-purchased items under the bed or in the closet with the price tags still attached. This allows the shopper to return the items when reason later sets in. After repeated occurrences of this behavior, the shopper begins to see a detrimental affect on his/her finances, emotional health and relationships, both personal and professional.
So, how do you know if you have a shopping addiction?
-- Most of your shopping or spending occurs when you are feeling lonely,
angry or sad.
-- You feel lost without credit cards.
-- You're unable to pay off your credit card at the end of the month.
-- You frequently buy items on credit that you can't purchase with cash.
-- You find yourself "justifying" your purchases more often than not.
-- You hide your bills, receipts and purchases from your loved ones.
|SOURCE California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists|
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