Online businesses always seem to know what people want and how to push everyone towards that “one thing” they “need to have right now.” The shopping mousetrap is creating a new age of online shopping addiction. Learn some of the signs you may be influenced to shop too much online and how to seek help.
Why it Works
Shopping addiction is nothing new as people have been struggling with this disorder for decades. With the advent of internet shopping and e-commerce, it is growing in numbers because of the ease of access and targeted way advertisers hit people right between the ears. The brain is susceptible to ‘cue-reactivity’ or excitement from shopping cues. The brain craves the online shopping experience as much as any other person with addiction craves drugs or alcohol.
Signs of Addiction
Three main factors play a role in the development of addiction to online shopping:
- Buying anonymously to avoid social interaction (and possibly shame)
- Enjoyment of a wide variety of items and constant availability of anything under the sun 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Instant gratification to point-click-buy right at the moment you think of wanting the item or items
The following are 10 signs you may be struggling with online addiction and should seek support. Keep in mind you don’t necessarily have to struggle with all 10 of these but if you think you recognize yourself or someone you love in these descriptions, it may be time to seek help.
- Feeling like you can’t stop shopping even if you wanted to or have tried
- Online shopping is hurting relationship, work, or finances (or combination of the three)
- Your partner, family, or friends have expressed concerns about the amount of shopping and may have led to conflict
- You think about online shopping more than you should
- You get grumpy or upset if you aren’t able to shop online
- Online shopping helps you relax or feel better
- You hide things you buy because someone will think it unreasonable or a waste of money
- You feel guilty after shopping online
- You buy things you don’t need much, more than you planned, or could not afford
Pathological buying can be tied to or worsened by other psychological issues including anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, hoarding, or mania. Treating the underlying issue can help improve buying behavior if it stems off something else. For pathological buying, the treatment protocol is usually cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with a mental health professional. This may include inpatient or outpatient treatment depending how severe the symptoms of shopping addiction may be and whether or not drugs, alcohol or other issues such as mental health play a role.
There is hope for you or a loved one with addiction. Oceanfront is the perfect place for you to get away and address your addiction head on. We will help you focus on what matters so you can enter recovery feeling like you have got this and you can come to grips with addiction. Call us to find out how we can partner with you on the recovery journey. 877-296-7477