Reasons behind compulsive shopping

In the previous blog post, we defined the term “shopaholic” and discussed the different symptoms of a shopaholic. In this blog post, we will be discussing about the reason behind compulsive shopping and provide tips and assistance for shopaholic.


The most causes for compulsive shopping are psychological. Compulsive shoppers maybe have emotions of loneliness, depression, feel out of control in particular area, and seek to spend money in order to relieve the stress. Therefore spending addiction is a symptom or warning sign that there are deep-rooted feelings one is trying to avoid facing. Therefore by shopping help numb those troubling feelings for just a while. The following are some psychological conditions which associated with compulsive shopping which includes:

  • Emotional deprivation in childhood
  • Inability to tolerate negative feelings, pain, loneliness, boredom, depression, fear, anger
  • Need to fill an inner void – empty and longing inside
  • Excitement seeking
  • Approval seeking
  • Perfectionism
  • Genuinely impulsive and compulsive
  • Need to gain control

Some behaviours and emotions have been associated with as potential causes of shopping addiction including:

  • A reaction to disappointment, stress, anger or fear by shopping
  • A feeling that one’s spending habits are out of control and are causing friction or conflict in one’s family, relationship
  • Feeling a sense of euphoria as well as anxiety while shopping
  • Experiencing a sense of getting away with something forbidden while shopping
  • Feeling severe guilt or remorse about having gone shopping, especially if it contradicts promises made to one’s self or a loved one
  • Buying things that are never or almost never used—in other words, buying for no reason other than to spend

Getting help

People suffering from compulsive buying disorder can seek shopping addiction treatment from a treatment center, therapist or psychologist despite the lack of a quantified, well-defined diagnosis since the underlying issues are indeed psychological.

There following are some treatments for compulsive shopping:

  • Reduce temptations
  • Make lists before going to the store; buy what you need only
  • Take a trusted friend
  • Wait so many hours before purchase
  • Do you need this or do you just want it?
  • Develop other ways to handle emotions
  • Develop fun things to do
  • Learn to ride through urges and preoccupations
  • Develop habits in stores



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