Effects of Shopping Addiction

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Effects of Shopping Addiction
Shopping is a necessary part of life. We shop for food, clothing, cars, homes, or anything that may be a necessity to survive. If shopping is necessary, how can it also be an addiction? The answer is the same as with other addictions. According to Wikipedia, addiction is the continued use of a mood altering substance or behavior despite adverse dependency consequences or a neurological impairment leading to such behaviors. Oniomania, which is a Greek word meaning "for sale" is the technical term for the compulsive desire to shop, more commonly referred to as shopping addiction. Shopping addiction may be considered an impulse control disorder, an obsessive compulsive disorder, a bipolar disorder, or even a clinical addiction. Due to recent research it is now being compared to alcoholism, eating disorders and drug abuse. There is growing evidence that it is a significant and worsening problem with serious consequences both emotional and financial.

Shopping addiction is initially triggered by a mild need to feel special and less lonely. The failure of excessive shopping to actually fulfill these needs often lead to a vicious cycle of escalation. This then causes the person to experience the highs and lows associated with other addictions. The high of the shopping may be followed by a sense of disappointment, and of guilt, precipitating a further cycle of impulse buying in the quest for a sense of special identity. Now that the addicted person is increasingly feeling negative emotions like anger and stress, they attempt to self medicate through further shopping, followed again by regret or depression once they return home, which leads to an urge for another shopping spree. This person is now an addict and shopping is the drug of choice. The consequences of shopping addiction can be devastating, with marriages, longterm relationships, and jobs. Other consequences are financial which can include ruined credit history, theft and...
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