Addiction Treatment & Rehab Resource

Shopping Addiction Rehab

Those who are addicted to shopping have a compulsion to shop, in much the same way a person can have a compulsion to drink or do drugs. The terms compulsive shopper and shopping addict are used interchangeably, because the person's seeming need to shop always overrides their consideration of the consequences.

Compulsive shopping may also describe instances where people make impulse, last-minute purchases. Store merchandisers bank on this; they place items like gum, candy, magazines and razors around checkout stands to entice those that can't resist throwing a few last things into the cart. However, buying a magazine occasionally is different than being addicted to shopping. As is the case with all other addictions, the shopper gets a rush; but it's from buying something. The elevated mood is typically very short-lived, and addiction occurs when the person shops again and tries to recapture that "high".

Shopping addicts are trapped in a vicious cycle, because they are filled with guilt every time they buy something they don't need. The more the habit becomes entrenched, the more likely a shopping addict will be to sink into debt. In most cases, the compulsion to buy completely overrides practicality, and can result in financial ruin; compulsive shoppers can easily max out multiple credit cards, neglect to pay bills, and begin stealing to finance their habit. The things bought by a compulsive shopper are irrelevant, and until recently, most people thought that the majority of addicts were female. However, men are equally likely to fall victim to this addiction.

As is true with other addictions, the disease comes from the high the addict gets and their need to fill a void in their lives, whether if you shop for lingerie or other clothes. Simple pleasures and natural highs like raising kids, having friends, and good performance at work may be absent, so the addict seeks a way to mask the frustration at what they lack. There are both inpatient and outpatient shopping rehab programs available; both come with certain benefits and both are meant to help people get their shopping under control.