Shopping is an activity loved by all. The high from the click of the credit as it zings through the machine at the checkout or the subtle click of the mouse on the ‘add to cart’ button is all too real. Taking off the crisp packaging to reveal the goodies inside gives an unmatched flush to everyone.
Moreover, in the times of consumerism, shopping seems very gratifying as well. It makes the overtimes and odds jobs almost worth it. However, this global phenomenon is also lauded by society as well. Retail therapy is often used with a sense of pride; after all, spending money to buy pretty things is a privilege, and hence is coveted by many.
Not only society, but the entertainment industry also glorifies shopping as well. Whether it be movies like ‘Confessions of a shopaholic’ or series like ‘Sex and the City’, they all portray shopping a lot in a very positive light.
However, what these merry and jovial connotations with shop till you drop are failing to realize is excessive shopping is a bad thing. Much like any other addiction, shopping addiction is also a medical condition that merits a visit to the top psychiatrist in Lahore.
Although, this does not mean that anyone who likes to shop is an addict. There are certain signs associated with shopping addiction that one needs to check against to be able to realize their mental condition, or lack thereof.
Shopaholics do not make buying sprees out of necessity. They compulsively buy things, and not just because of the pull of consumerism.There will generally come a point when a regular person will realize that they do not need a thing, no matter how pretty it is, or how good the deal is.
Addicts will not get this point. They do not see shopping for need, they just do it. So, even if the thing being sold is irrelevant to them, they will not think rationally and thus will buy whatever fascinates them.
Buying for just owning things
People who are addicted to shopping will not always wear or use the things they buy. They have many items in their possession that do not even have the tags removed. Hence, for them, owning the things is most important.
Thrill of shopping
It is one thing to get excited about buying something nice, it is another to feel that thrill and lack of impulse from buying.
In compulsive buying disorder, people get overly excited about shopping; they cannot stop themselves, and get a sense of accomplishment after buying a thing. They are more obsessed with owning the thing rather than the state of their finances at the moment.
This behavior is a perpetual condition; they will continue buying things almost recklessly. After the high from the shopping comes the low from the realization of the mistake. They then shop more to avoid these blues, and what ensues is a vicious cycle.
Problems with self-esteem
Shopping addiction is also linked with self-esteem issues. Such people buy things as a way to improve their worth and make them more popular with people. Moreover, many are aware of their shopping addiction and suffer from low esteem because of it. They think of themselves as lesser because they are not able to control their impulses.
Also, shopping addicts also are often socially isolated. They then shop to at least connect with the salespeople. Shopping is not just buying things for them, but it is also a source of human contact for them.
Shopping is an expensive habit. Only a very small percent of people are wealthy enough to handle this addiction without financial issues, others, not so much. Hence, most of the addicts use other means to support their disorder.
They either take loans, use their family or friends for their money. As a result, shopaholics also tend to hide their purchases from family around them, as more often than not, this expensive habit is supported on their expense.
Anxiety from not shopping
Just like a drug addict has withdrawal if they do not get the dose, shopping addicts also suffer from anxiety if and when they do not shop. They then buy things to get rid of this depression.
Shopping is used as therapy
People who are addicted to shopping often use it as a mood booster. Most of them suffer from anxiety and depression, and shopping is a way out for them. They get happiness and a sense of accomplishment from shopping. Hence, rather than addressing their problems, they use shopping as a fix for the down times.
Instead of visiting the top psychiatrist in Karachi, they prefer using retail therapy for their mental health issues.