Purchasing addiction, shopping creates victims

Many husbands in the Netherlands will say that all women suffer from a purchasing addiction. It is known that a large proportion of women love shopping, but when does a shopping addiction really occur? More information and a test can be found in this article.

What is a shopping addiction

As long as you just buy things because you need them or because you like them and you can afford them, you usually have no problem. However, with a purchasing obsession there is a tension that builds up, then the impulse to buy something cannot be resisted and there is a rush when something is actually purchased. After the purchase, guilt comes into play, followed by disappointment. Yet afterwards that tension comes again. Life is about buying. A purchasing addiction often goes hand in hand with other psychological disorders such as ADHD or depression.
This is a cycle that is difficult to break and can seriously disrupt the social life of the purchasing addict. Of course, there is a good chance that major financial problems will also arise . In addition, a large group of these addicts also have psychological problems that are often underestimated. By the way, not every purchasing addict is aware of the fact that he/she is actually addicted to purchasing.

Characteristics of purchasing addiction

  • You can’t resist the urge to buy something.
  • Before you shop, the tension increases.
  • A relieved feeling after the purchase.
  • You buy more and more expensive things.
  • You hide purchases before others see them


How many Dutch people suffer from purchasing addiction?

Approximately 2 percent of the Dutch population is addicted to purchasing, which is more than 300,000 people. A considerable group, but in America the percentage of purchasing addicts is considerably higher at 8%. The shopping addicts are mainly women and the addiction starts with the group of 14-year-old adolescent girls. For part of this group, the purchasing addiction will pass, while another part will remain addicted to purchasing.

Top 5 causes for purchasing addiction

  • Changed handling of money (borrowing, plastic money)
  • Feeling rushed, depressed or lonely
  • Sense of inadequacy in youth
  • The first job (finally having access to money)
  • Availability (Sunday opening, evening opening)

There are of course also other causes. We live in a consumer society where a person’s success is more or less measured by the goods he owns. Retailers are also responding to this with various marketing techniques. Examples of this include the goods that are available at the cash register as a lure, but also the mailing and even calling promotions of various retail companies. The various mail order companies where you can buy on credit also make it very easy for the shopping addict.

Are you addicted to shopping?

Below you will find a number of questions. Many of you will be able to answer yes to one or more questions. Others perhaps more, but only in exceptional situations of a crazy mood. If you can consistently answer yes to 4 or more of these questions, there is a good chance that you have a purchasing addiction.

  • Do you hide and hide your purchases from your partner, parents or children?
  • Do you buy things for the “kick” and feel down after your purchase?
  • Are you more concerned about how to get the money you want to spend than about how you earn it?
  • Are you filling one financial hole with another?
  • Do you impulsively buy things you don’t need or can’t afford?
  • Do you go shopping because you want to improve your mood?
  • Do you use excuses to justify an unnecessary purchase, such as a sale or because you are already buying something for a later date, such as Sinterklaas or a birthday?
  • Is it impossible for you to stick to your shopping list?
  • Do you have to continuously rely on your savings?
  • Do you feel like you don’t know where your money goes?
  • Do you joke about the abundance of stuff you have?


What can you do about a shopping addiction?

First of all, you will of course have to acknowledge that you are suffering from your purchasing addiction and that it hinders and damages your normal functioning, as with all forms of addiction. However, below you will also find some other tips that can help you in your fight against your shopping addiction:

  • Talk about your addiction with others, and not just in the form of laughable comments. Have a serious conversation.
  • Don’t go shopping alone, take someone with you who can say no.
  • Try to find out for yourself what is the reason for your purchasing addiction. Are you perhaps having an argument, a less good relationship or are you disappointed about something? These can all be reasons to decide to buy and thus make up for your loss. If the reason can be removed, the addiction usually disappears
  • Don’t go shopping if you feel down or depressed, there are other ways to divert your attention such as watching a movie or getting some fresh air on the beach.
  • Cut your credit cards and pay cash from now on. Leave your debit card at home and only take a fixed amount of cash with you. Payments by credit card and debit card are very easy and it does not immediately give the feeling that you are spending a lot. By only spending cash you are much more likely to feel like you are spending too much.
  • With every purchase, ask yourself whether you really need the item
  • Be careful not to be tempted. Unsubscribe from newsletters from mail order companies that tell you almost every day by email what great offers they have available. The same, of course, also applies to the catalogs you receive from these companies. Advertising can also be tempting, so a “No” sticker on your mailbox can help.
  • Take a drug rehabilitation course specifically aimed at purchasing addicts


Pill against purchasing addiction

The pill Nalmefene is designed to combat gambling addiction. The pill could take away the thrill of shopping by slowing down the production of endorphins during shopping. However, it is doubtful whether a pill alone will be the solution. Just as not all smokers benefit from nicotine patches alone, not all drug addicts will be helped by this pill alone, because the problem is often between the ears.

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