We have all bought things that we don’t need at times. Things like clothes you never end up wearing, or food that expires before we can use it. This is just a typical part of how we spend our money, mainly because we all like shopping as an experience. It feels good.

Going out on a little bit of a spree and spending too much can feel good to do on occasion, but we know not to overdo it of course. Well, most of us do. It’s different for the ones who have a shopping addiction.

As is with most addictions, people tend to look at them as character flaws instead of mental problems. They feel that people with addiction should have control over their actions and are sloppy because they don’t.

Shopping addiction is not recognized as an official disorder, although gambling addiction is. There also has been talked about adding gaming addiction. So what is it about shopping addiction that makes people scoff at it? Because it usually sees as women’s problem.

Engaging in retail therapy is a commonly known way to handle stress or despair. It can give temporary relief and a much-provided distraction, but it does nothing to help long term. This is especially true if it impacts your funds.

Since it is used to explain away a woman’s incapability to handle stress, it just isn’t taken seriously, and it isn’t fair.

Here are some symptoms of a shopping addiction:

–     Can’t stop buying things even if you really don’t need them.

–    Cannot control shopping and have tried to stop.

–    Engaging in shopping has had negative consequences on the ability to pay bills or keep relationships stable.

–    Feeling guilty about your purchases.

–    Not feeling in control of your shopping.

–    Having relationship issues due to spending.

–    Using shopping to cope with negative feelings.

–    Having cravings to shop.

–    Have extreme anger or sadness if you can’t buy when you want to.

–    Having tension or anxiety until you purchase something and then feeling relief.

There are several stages to developing a shopping addiction.

Stage 1: Anticipation

They become obsessed with items to buy.

Step 2: Preparation

Plans in advance on how to make a purchase.

Stage 3: Shopping

They shop and feel extreme pleasure while doing so.

Stage 4: Spending

Relief occurs when items are bought before guilt sets in.

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