Treatment Options for a Shopping Addiction

Women addicted shopping at the mall

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

When it comes to addiction, many people commonly assume major substances, like illicit or prescription drugs and medications and alcohol. However, a person’s behaviors can become addictive and include anything that is taken to an extreme. This might involve sexual addiction, gambling, gaming, work, and even shopping.

While the consequences of a shopping addiction may not be similar to the physical results that are often seen with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, this behavior can be seriously detrimental to the person involved, particularly if left unaddressed or untreated.

Understanding the Signs and Symptoms of a Shopping Addiction

Shopping on online at AmazonA person who is addicted to shopping will often demonstrate behaviors that reveal a deeper issue or problem is at hand. For example, a person who is addicted to shopping will often purchase things compulsively and unnecessarily, typically buying beyond their financial means and what their budget allows.

A person who is addicted to shopping often thrives on the repeated behavior of purchasing items and will often begin hoarding the items they are purchasing. Whether clothing, shoes, home goods, sports equipment or more, these items are often left in their packaging and stored away unused.

A shopping addiction can destroy a person financially, be detrimental to relationships, damage a career, and more. An addiction to shopping should be approached similarly to other addictions, with comprehensive and professional care. Because many other factors may be involved and influential in the development of a shopping addiction, it is helpful to work with a team of specialists who can adequately address the various concerns involved.

Working With a Treatment Team to Find Recovery From a Shopping Addiction

Men's store at the shopping mallMany individuals who struggle with a shopping addiction might feel shame, guilt or even denial about their behaviors, and it is important to seek out help to appropriately address these concerns. Professional treatment may involve working with a therapist/counselor who specializes in a shopping addiction, group therapy and support, and a financial counselor.

If you or a loved one is dealing with a shopping addiction, take a step towards freedom and recovery by admitting your struggle and reaching out for the appropriate help you need.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

If you have been in recovery from a shopping addiction, what treatment methods were helpful for your recovery?

Crystal Karges photo

About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on April 21, 2016
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