As many different kinds of people there are in the world, there exist as many different addictions. At itís route, addiction is about control. Although a shopping spree can be enjoyable, a shopping addiction involves a sense of euphoria and control when buying items. It often leaves the addict with a false sense of freedom. The sense of freedom experienced at the point of the purchasing is often repeated, in a destructive cycle, to relieve the guilt and shame that set in afterwards. It can threaten the lives of those it consumes by accruing debt, impairing relationships, and leaving the addict with a feeling of helplessness and guilt. Shopping addiction signs include spending over budget, taking up large amounts of time trying to balance a budget to accommodate the spending, compulsive purchasing which is coupled with remorse afterwards, and a sense of defenselessness when without credit cards. Culturally, shopping is encouraged by the media and by our societal obsession over what we wear. Also, a light attitude and ignorance about shopping as an addiction can prolong spotting a problem and seeking help. Studies have shown that shopping addiction is often coupled with mood disorders, substance abuse, and eating disorders. It is also connected with a lack of emotional support in childhood, an inability to deal with the problems of every day life, a desire to fill an empty void inside, the joy of the thrill, wanting to belong, and seeking approval.
Along with psychotherapy, some things that can help with a shopping addiction are cutting up all plastics, closing charge accounts, immediately throwing away credit card offers and home equity applications, using lists and sticking to them, taking a good friend along during shopping trips, and developing a supportive social circle that will help cope with problems. Other things to help avoid compulsions embrace exploring fun alternatives to shopping that are constructive and learning to get through urges. Also, there are numerous support groups that have sprung up online in order to help people with this problem get through it.