In this part of the topic, you will read about the causes of compulsive shopping or shopping addiction, signs and symptoms of it, tests to diagnose compulsive shopping or shopping addiction.

Causes & Signs of Compulsive Shopping or Shopping Addiction

Causes of Compulsive Shopping or Shopping Addiction

Compulsive shopping or shopping addiction may be a seasonal remedy for depression, loneliness and anxiety during the December holiday season. It also occurs if one feels depressed, angry and lonely. Compulsive shopping or shopping addiction does not assure more love, hold up self-esteem, or cure the hurts, stress, regrets, and the problems of daily life. The increased financial debt that one obtains from compulsive shopping or shopping addiction makes these feelings worse.

Some people may develop compulsive shopping or shopping addiction because they get addicted to how their brain feels while and after shopping. The brain releases endorphins and dopamine while they shop, and over time, these feelings turn addictive. Researchers say that 10- 15 percent of the population can be predisposed to these feelings. Genetics may also play a role in compulsive shopping or shopping addiction.

Signs and Symptoms of Compulsive Shopping or Shopping Addiction

Warning signs and symptoms of compulsive shopping or shopping addiction:

  • A major symptom of compulsive shopping or shopping addiction is a result of disappointment, annoyance, or fear.
  • Another symptom of compulsive shopping or shopping addiction is because of emotional distress in life.
  • Arguing with others for one's compulsive shopping or shopping addiction habits is a sign of compulsive shopping or shopping addiction.
  • Feeling lost when a person do not possess credit cards is a possible symptom of compulsive shopping or shopping addiction.
  • Buying items on credit frequently.
  • Feeling euphoria or anxiety while compulsive shopping or shopping addiction.
  • Feeling low, ashamed, confused, guilty, or embarrassed after compulsive shopping or shopping addiction.
  • Lying about purchases made or money spent.
  • Thinking excessively about shopping and money.
  • Spending hours juggling bills or accounts.

Having 4 or more of the above mentioned behaviors hints a possible problem with compulsive shopping or shopping addiction.

Emotional Signs and Symptoms of Compulsive Shopping or Shopping Addiction

Like all other addicts, shopping addicts also attempt to hide their addiction, and if a loved one is addicted, they try to hide from you. If you hide shopping bags, receipts or credit card bills, you might be having a problem of compulsive shopping or shopping addiction. In some other cases, compulsive shopping or shopping addiction victims try to hide their compulsion or addiction by lying about just one or two elements of it. For instance, a person can admit they went for shopping, but may be possible that they lie about how much money they spent there.

Some other emotional symptoms you can notice in a compulsive shopping or shopping addiction patient include the following:

  • Spending more than that they are able to afford.
  • Compulsive shopping or shopping addiction as a reaction to feeling depressed or angry.
  • Compulsive shopping or shopping addiction to feel less guilty about the last shopping spree.
  • Harming relationships because of compulsive shopping or shopping addiction.

Physical Symptoms of Compulsive Shopping or Shopping Addiction

Though most of the addictions have physical symptoms, compulsive shopping or shopping addiction may not have any physical symptoms. In most cases, the symptoms one experiences due to one's compulsive shopping or shopping addiction can be emotional in nature. The physical evidence of an compulsive shopping or shopping addiction includes a declining financial situation.

Tests to Diagnose Compulsive Shopping or Shopping Addiction

Self-Test for Compulsive Shopping or Shopping Addiction

If you are still in the confusion and want to figure out whether you are a compulsive shopping or shopping addiction victim or not, shopaholics anonymous suggests that ask yourself the following questions. If the answer is a "yes" to several of these questions, you may be a compulsive shopping or shopping addiction sufferer. The questions are:

  • Do you shop when you are annoyed or disappointed?
  • Do you have problems in your life because of overspending?
  • Are there conflicts with your loved ones regarding your need to shop?
  • While shopping, feeling of euphoric rushes or anxiety comes to you?
  • After shopping, do you feel like you just ended doing something weird, wild, or dangerous?
  • After shopping, do you ever feel like you are guilty for what you have done?
  • Do you buy on frequent basis the things that you never use or wear?
  • Do you think about money, spending, and bills almost all the time?

Your family doctor, psychiatrist or other mental health provider can help you doing a psychological evaluation for compulsive shopping or shopping addiction, which includes answering questions regarding your:

  • Physical health as well as mental health, besides your overall emotional health.
  • Thoughts regarding shopping, compulsions and the ways you behave in.
  • Limit of use of alcohol and drugs.
  • Family, personal life, relationships and social status.

Manifesting four or more of these behaviors possibly points to compulsive shopping or shopping addiction:

  • Spending more than your budget.
  • Spending on the item what is not needed is a sign of compulsive shopping or shopping addiction.
  • Hiding your excessive purchase from friends and family.
  • Returning the items those were bought because of guilt.
  • Another sign of compulsive shopping or shopping addiction is isolation of relationships because of shopping.
  • Preferring the usage of credit card to cash.
  • Shopping so as to distract the feelings of annoyance, loneliness or depression.
  • To argue with people regarding your shopping is a classic sign of compulsive shopping or shopping addiction.
  • Feeling guilty and ashamed after a spending spree.
  • Getting new credit cards for more shopping is an indication of compulsive shopping or shopping addiction.

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Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: May 3, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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