Am I a Shopaholic? 7 Signs Your Shopping Habits Are Becoming a Problem


Studies have proven that behavioral addictions are strikingly similar to drug and alcohol addiction. Whether it’s using drugs or swiping a credit card, the body’s physiological response is often the same.

If you’ve been questioning your shopping practices lately, you may have a shopping addiction. Read on for our top 7 signs that you are addicted to shopping.

You Use Shopping as a Coping Mechanism

When you’re sad, lonely, depressed, or just plain bored, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? If you find yourself itching for a shopping trip, then you may be addicted to shopping.

Shopping addicts often use shopping trips to cope with a wide array of emotional problems. However, it’s only a temporary fix that can lead to greater problems down the road.

You’re Chemically Addicted to Shopping

Being addicted to shopping is a lot like most addictions: you get a rush of dopamine from it that keeps you coming back for more. The feel-good sensations never last, however, and that can often lead to trouble.

If you’re addicted to shopping, you may notice a variety of physical symptoms from it, such as these:

  • Sweating or getting overly excited during shopping trips
  • Physical urges to make purchases without any real thought behind it
  • Increased heart rate while making purchases
  • Anxiety or depression when you can’t shop

You may find yourself obeying these physical impulses without knowing why. If this sounds familiar, then you might be facing a shopping addiction.

You Don’t Use/Wear Everything You Buy

If you tend to let unopened purchases sit for days or even months, then you may be addicted to shopping. Many shopping addicts have closets full of clothing with the tags still attached, as well as piles of unused purchases, yet they still feel compelled to go out and shop for more.

The root of this type of situation is pretty simple: if you’re not using what you buy, then you probably didn’t need it in the first place. A shopping addiction will trick you into buying more, regardless of the items that you already have.

You Feel Anxiety When You Don’t Shop

Are shopping trips a regular part of your routine, to the point where you get anxious if you haven’t hit the mall in a while? If this sounds applicable to you, you may be facing a shopping addiction.

Just like a smoker needs their regular cigarette, or an alcoholic needs a drink, when you’re addicted to shopping, you may have negative moods when you don’t get your fix. This is an indicator that you’ve developed a pretty serious attachment to your shopping habits.

You Often Feel Buyer’s Remorse

When you’re addicted to shopping, you may find yourself going out, obeying an impulse that can often lead to regret afterward. This is because you’re buying things you don’t need or even want. Instead, you’re buying things for the rush you get from the initial purchase.

Once that surge of dopamine wears off, you’re still left with the purchases, but they suddenly don’t have the appeal that you saw when you first bought them. This leads you to abandon these items and go out once again to pursue that same rush. You then regret all the money you spent on all these purchases that you didn’t really need.

Sound familiar? If you are buying things on impulse rather than taking the time and patience to invest in what truly makes you happy, then you may have a shopping addiction on your hands.

You’ve Shopped Your Way into Financial Trouble

Another common issue that many shopping addicts run into is debt. If you are constantly shopping beyond your means, even though you know you shouldn’t, you have a problem.

Whether it’s maxed out credit cards, depleted paychecks, or racking up personal debts, a shopping addiction can have some devastating consequences. If you’ve shopped your way into a situation like this, it’s safe to say you’re addicted to retail therapy.

If you’re in deep, don’t worry; there are ways out of it. Once you have your habits under control, you can refinance a personal loan, pick up some more work, or stick to a strict budget until you get your debts paid off.

You Hide Your Shopping Habits

A big sign that you’re addicted to shopping is simply knowing that what you’re doing isn’t healthy. This often leads you to hide your shopping habits from others, either because you’re ashamed or because you don’t want to deal with judgment or confrontation.

Let’s face it, though. You wouldn’t be hiding it if you weren’t ashamed of it.

Dealing with a Shopping Addiction

If you think you’re addicted to shopping, it’s not too late to start taking corrective action. Although it may seem difficult at first, there are quite a few things you can do to ease yourself into healthier shopping practices.

Here are a few suggestions to help you move away from a shopping addiction:

  • Take note of emotional triggers that lead you to shop. Once you’re more conscious of your triggers, you can start working on healthier ways of dealing with them.
  • Set a strict budget. If necessary, remove your credit cards from your wallet and only carry the cash you need to get through the day.
  • Pick up a new hobby. Whether it’s exercising, making art, reading, or anything else that makes you happy, keeping yourself occupied in other ways is key.
  • Seek help. If you are addicted to shopping and having a hard time overcoming it alone, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Lean on your friends and loved ones to hold you accountable for your goals, or find a good therapist in your area that can help.

One of the most important things to do here is this: don’t give up on yourself. If you want to change up your lifestyle and start heading down a better path, it’s always possible.

If it sounds like you’re addicted to shopping, you have the power to improve your habits. By becoming more self-aware, you can be well on your way to straightening up and getting your life back in order.

You Might Also Like