Who doesn’t love shopping? Hitting the shops, bargaining for products but do you know that shopping can become an addiction real fast? When you feel a constant eagerness for making purchases of unnecessary stuff then it is a symptom of shopping addiction, also known as ‘‘Oniomania’’,a compulsive buying disorder in which buying new things makes us feel good and avoid negative feelings, such as anxiety and depression. 

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Difference between normal shopping and an addiction?

Shopaholics have a personality pattern that they have difficulty in controlling their desire to shop and develop money related problems and even damage their relationships, yet they are unable to control their spending. The main difference between normal shopping and addiction is that shopaholics are not able to control their spending. They are people with low self-esteem and want to connect to others through shopping. They tend to buy more materialistic things than other shoppers and want to seek approval from others. 

Shopaholics are more influenced by marketing and advertising that surrounds us today. Advertising is more focused on positive results of their products and suggest the purchases that would solve life’s problems and these marketing tricks trigger impulsive buying specially among the people with shopping addiction. 

Compulsive Vs Impulsive Shopping

Impulsive buying is an unplanned purchase that happens at the moment such as seeing the desired item in the shop, while compulsive buying is considered with a planned shopping pattern to reduce uncomfortable inner feelings, such as anxiety and depression. 

Shopping addiction can involve both impulsive and compulsive spending. People who are addicted to shopping are often left feeling empty and unsatisfied with their purchases when they get home, signs that you are turning into a shopping addict.

Like those addicted to substance abuse and behaviors, shopping addicts are addicted to behavior because of the way they feel while shopping. Because shopping is an activity that everyone engages in so it is difficult to tell when shopping has become an addiction. There are some signs which tell if you are becoming a shopping addict: – 

1. Hiding shopping or the amount spent during shopping.

2. Shopping to console yourself when feeling angry or depressed.

3. Spending more than you can afford. 

4. Shopping to avoid feeling guilty about a previous shopping spree.

5. Losing control during shopping.

Don’t confuse love of shopping with addiction. 

These days people have easy access to shopping sites through the internet. Anyone who is going into that impulse is not an addict, but if you feel the compulsion to do it, then it’s a problem. People who spend their money at the cost of their lives, livelihoods or relationships are necessarily shopping addicts. 

How to fight a shopping addiction?

There are some strategies you can use to fight a shopping addiction-

1. Cut up your credit cards- If you are a compulsive shopper you need to cut up your credit cards and it fuel your emotional spending in most cases. 

2. Track every penny you spend – If you are an addict you might not be aware of your spending so now try to keep a record of it so that you can cut off some spending on shopping.

3. Avoid temptations- the best way to avoid spending is to avoid situations that tempt you to spend in the  first place. If your weakness is clothes, then stay away from clothing stores and even online sites selling clothes.

4. Remind yourself of larger goals- if you are addicted to spending on shoes then ask yourself will buying these shoes help me in further  scenario  or am I just hurting my pocket. 

5. Ask for help- if you are having trouble with spending try to talk with your friends and family and you can even seek some professional help. 

Shopping can be as distressing as any other addiction.

But remember, you are a worthwhile person, no matter how much or how little you own

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