Thanksgiving is a few days away and for those of you that this article applies to, you’re only thinking about one thing: Black Friday Shopping! Enjoying shopping is one thing, but are you addicted to shopping? Psychologists call it Compulsive Buying Disorder, which is characterized as an impulse-control issue – just like gambling or binge eating – and has the potential to create a whirlwind of emotional and financial distress. Most of you can probably tell if you have a shopping problem without even thinking about it, but here are a 5 signs you’re a shopaholic.
Black Friday: 5 Signs you’re a Shopaholic: You Get a High When Shopping
It’s crazy to think you can actually get a high from shopping, but it’s true! If when you go shopping you get a high or a rush, you might want to consider the fact that you’re a shopaholic. When purchasing items your brain actually releases dopamine and this feeling can be very addictive. If you use shopping to cope with stress or life problems, you might have an issue also. Shopping should not be used like we used alcohol and drugs, to hide from our problems and make us feel better.
Black Friday: 5 Signs you’re a Shopaholic: Debt or Financial Issues
One of the easiest ways to tell you are a shopaholic would be if you are in debt from shopping or having financial issues. I know that sometimes that dress or those shoes can be so cute that you just have to buy them; but if you have to make a car payment or pay rent and are still spending this money, you definitely have a problem! If you have maxed out a credit card, that is another easy way to tell your spending has become an issue. You should definitely seek help if you’re dealing with this kind of shopaholic behavior.
Black Friday: 5 Signs you’re a Shopaholic: Excessive & Impulse Purchases
Not only do you buy things you don’t really need, but you buy them in excess also! When you go to the store, you usually end up leaving with a bunch of stuff you didn’t even come for. Any of this sound familiar? You splurge on items you really don’t need and usually do this on impulse and without even thinking about it. The best way to avoid this in my experience has been to only leave the house with the amount of money you need to spend and don’t bring extra money!
Black Friday: 5 Signs you’re a Shopaholic: Remorse Afterwards
After buying things you immediately feel remorse or guilt. This is commonly referred to as ‘buyer’s remorse.’ But that still isn’t enough for you to go return these items or change your shopping patterns. I can best compare this part of being a shopaholic to alcoholism, when I would drink or drug I would feel horrible about it the next day, but still continue to do it time and time again. It was like it was painful to keep drinking AND to stop drinking, so I just kept on with the vicious cycle for years and years. You don’t have to put yourself through that, try talking to friends so you don’t have to keep feeling this way.
Black Friday: 5 Signs you’re a Shopaholic: You hide or lie about Shopping
If when your friends or family ask you what you’ve been doing when you’ve been shopping and you feel the need to lie, there is a probably a reason you felt the need to lie. If you hide clothes and items you’ve bought in fear of someone commenting on you shopping too much or spending all your money, you have a problem! Now, trust me, I know the sales are tempting and buying things is always fun. After all, if you are an addict or alcoholic this is a form of instant gratification which we love! But if one or more of these signs of being a shopaholic apply to you, you should probably seriously consider talking to a friend and trying to lay off the shopping for a little while. I know it seems like it is not a big deal, but it’s just a way of substituting one addiction for another and we all know that doesn’t work for long and eventually we find our way back to the substance of our choice. Maybe try not going shopping on Black Friday, just relax at home with family or friends and be thankful for the life you have today! If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.