Shopping Addiction? Can’t Save Money? That May Be A Real Issue

Shopping Addiction? Can’t Save Money? That May Be A Real Issue

By Erika Ortiz

             Most people like to spend and buy things, but some take that splurging a bit to the max and do it any opportunity possible. Shopping makes some feel good, however; some get this “high” feeling since the brain releases endorphins and dopamine as they shop. It’s one thing to shop while on a budget, while it’s another to shop with no budget in mind. All of the spending, unnecessary buying, and accumulation of debt is an actual issue called shopping addiction. It is imperative to break down shopping addiction and the different types. First, there is impulse buying which is buying something you did not plan on purchasing in the first place. It can range from buying a chocolate bar from the grocery store while waiting in line or buying your 50th pair of shoes. Compulsive buying is when you plan your shopping, but to an extreme and on unnecessary items. Compulsive buying is usually where the shopping addiction behavior occurs most. For example, say you did not do so well on an exam or had a bad day at work, your immediate solution is to go shopping afterward to make yourself feel better. Another type is bargain shoppers who think they are getting a steal price or great deal. They are still spending a lot instead of saving. Finally, there is bulimic shopping or circular shopping. These people buy and return just for fun; even though they are staying within their budget, they are wasting a lot of time and energy.

           Shopping addiction can be due to stress, loneliness, sadness, the need to fill a void, lack of control, avoidance of reality, depression, anxiety, etc. Nonetheless, this is a severe problem that needs an urgent solution because shopping addiction can lead to issues in relationships, growing debt, constant overspending, and even lying about spending. One way to help with this issue is to create a budget and try sticking with it. There are many resources online that can be great budgeting tools. It is critical to immediately get help if you have a very severe case of shopping addiction. Seek a mental health professional who can help you get to the root of the issue and understand what you are going through. Remember that there is hope and you can get through this.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a shopping addiction please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit


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