Last updated: 11/9/2018
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Compulsive shopping affects many people and causes monetary issues and crippling debt. When a person is struggling with compulsive shopping, it is more just wanting to shop. Shopping becomes irresistible as well as a coping mechanism for everything else wrong in a person’s life. If you are dealing with this issue, there are several different treatments you may seek to help you with your recovery.
Compulsive Buying Disorder
According to a review that was published in 2007, “there are no standard treatments” for compulsive buying disorder or CBD (NCBI). A person should choose the treatment that is best for him or her. However, there are some facts about compulsive shopping or CBD that you should consider:
- Compulsive shopping “tends to run in families.”
- Compulsive shopping sometimes goes hand-in-hand with drug and substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety and mood disorders, and other psychological disorders.
- There is no certain shopping personality that fits into psychiatric diagnosis.
- Compulsive shopping is characterized by a strong desire to shop and make purchases, a feeling of anxiety before the purchase is made, and a feeling of relief afterward.
One of the best treatments for addiction is counseling, and many people consider their compulsive need to shop to be an addiction. Others feel that it has to do with impulse control. Either way, therapy can be a great resource.
Indiana University suggests that a person “seek professional counseling or a self-help group to deal with this problem.” If the problem is severe enough, both might be useful. Here are some tips on how to find compulsive shopping self-help groups:
- Search online for free groups who either help each other by telecommunicating or by meeting up in your area.
- Go to a local meeting of another kind (Alcoholics Anonymous, etc.) and inquire about compulsive shopping treatment.
- Ask your therapist or counselor for suggestions.
- Ask your doctor or visit a clinic.
- Community centers also often have regular meetings of this nature.
The URMC states that “medication for depression and anxiety has been helpful for some people.” A visit to your doctor can actually be considerably helpful toward getting you on the right track. Because many people feel anxiety when they are not shopping or become depressed if they are not able to buy a certain item, these medications actually handle a lot of those problems. Talk to your doctor about anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications, and make sure you know what exactly you are taking as well as what the side effects may be.
Other Tips for Finding Compulsive Shopping Treatment
Also consider these tips:
- Admit the problem to yourself.
- This is very important as it is the first step in most addiction rehabilitation.
- Reach out to family members.
- As compulsive shopping has been known to run in the family, you may have family members who have been where you’ve been. Find out what kind of treatment they received.
- Talk to close friends.
- Good friends will be willing to help you get better. Consider what they have to say and let them support you.
- Search SAMHSA‘s treatment locator.
- Here you will find facilities that provide treatments to individuals struggling with addiction and psychological disorders. If your compulsive shopping habits are severe, consider this option.