Shopping Addiction

shopping addictionChicago Human Potential specializes in working with shopping addiction and hoarding disorder. Both of these behaviors are recognized as anxiety/obsessive compulsive type behaviors and can be treated with psychotherapy and/or medication. We also work with home organizers and cleaning services when clients need more extensive home services. We are available in-office, by telehealth or privately for home visits for any assessed special needs.

During the pandemic, many people have felt that their shopping/purchasing compulsions have increased, sometimes to the detriment of bank accounts and relationships. Like anxiety and depression, clinical behavioral approaches are also effective to reduce and change relationships with compulsive spending.

The pleasure receptors for food, sex, substances, and gambling are also primed for shopping and impulsive spending. Compulsive shopping addictions are usually rooted in emotional needs being unmet, including loneliness, depression or childhood neglect. Shopping addiction can look benign, but often compulsive shopping is about making collections and keeping up with fashions. Another example of this is frequent, unnecessary redecoration. If others have expressed concern about your overspending, or if you have maxed out credit cards and borrowed money, overspending may be the root cause of your difficulties. If there is deceit or concealment of spending, this is yet another indication that professional help might be warranted. Secret spending or setting deadlines to quit overspending and breaking them, can be a revolving issue. It may feel difficult to confide in others about a habit that feels out of control, and a professional therapist is a safe space to get support and make behavioral changes.

Many people have also indicated that they feel that they are addicted to the spending on take-out and delivery food. Professional therapy and a behavioral management approach is appropriate to address this as well.

We are all coping the best that we know how, and the brain likes what it likes. We often minimize overspending as problematic because we live in a consumer-driven, materialistic world. If your shopping addiction prevents you from reaching your goals, please contact us.

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