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Help For Shopaholics Stop Compulsive Shopping

Updated on December 8, 2008

When people hear the word shopaholic they probably think of a person that owns everything under the sun or someone who spends too much money on material things that is wealthy or just spoiled. Nothing could be further from the truth. Shopaholics are physically emotionally and mentally hooked on shopping.

Compulsive shopping is a serious condition that affects thousands of people's lives in America. Some 15,000,000 or more people suffer from shopping addiction. If you or someone you know is a shopaholic who is trying to find a way to overcome this destructive behaviour there is hope. As more and more research is being done about compulsive shopping, doctors are finding and successfully using different ways to help shopaholics.

Out of control shopping does not only effect the shopper it also effects family members, spouses, loved ones and friends. Many times married over active spenders will be divorced and in debt before they can control their spending habits.

Help For Shopaholics

If shopping is sending you into debt, putting strain on your marriage and basically ruining your life there is help. The first thing every doctor will tell you is that shopaholics use shopping for a sense of relief or escape from another underlying problem. Things like depression, low self esteem and anxiety can all be issues shopaholics have.. Talking with a psychologist is a great first step.

Compulsive shopping may also have a biochemical component One of the first test that is done by any doctor who specializes in shopping addiction will be a screening for bipolar disorder. The reason for this is that excessive spending often is seen in the manic or hypo-manic phase of bipolar disorder. However most shopaholics do not have the condition.

One major key to successfully overcoming compulsive shopping is simply taking responsibility for ones own actions. Stop denying the problem and or blaming others. Shopaholics who truly want help need to say enough is enough. Once a shopaholic realizes that shopping is just not worth the troubles that are caused from shopping excessively things get much easier. Make the decision to change and change will come.

Compulsive shoppers need to remember that they control their own life but have allowed themselves to be out of control.

Tips For Shopaholics

  • After owning up to the problem, shopaholics should let people in their life know that they have out of control spending habits.
  • Acknowledge the fact of any debt that has incurred and seek help in developing a plan for resolving debt issues. Places like consumer credit counseling services is where to start.
  • Toss all credit cards and only make purchases that can be payed for by cash or check.
  • Create a budget to track spending
  • Develop and stick with a weekly spending savings plan that is only for nonessential purchases.
  • Do not go shopping alone. Always have a friend come along.
  • Do not shop without a list of specific items to buy and avoid malls.
  • Consider going to self help group meetings like Debtors Anonymous.
  • Seek professional help for counseling to manage depression or anxiety.


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    • profile image

      Mike 7 years ago

      Whenever i go online on my pc, i am always wanting to buy something. I bought a telescope for instance, and NOW i buy all the accessories that could possibly be needed with this equipment.

      Hopefully now i have enough so i won't buy anymore accessories.Just the idea of purchasing something (anything) gives me a mild Euphoria feeling inside.I am taking SSRI's, but they do nothing to help my addiction.

    • profile image

      Haley 7 years ago

      Good advice, but what would you say for someone who has a budget planned out, and sticks to it pretty well, but still has a few problems with randomly spending. I try only using cash for my free spending, but I always end up using my debt when I get compulsive. I work at my favorite store to shop and I have gotten better at my shopping, but i've been still spending half of my paychecks on wants. Any Advice?

    • profile image

      19 8 years ago

      Cool , now i found out that i might have a bipolar disorder , and apparently i am in depression. Well there are good advices, but is not that easy ... easier said than done LOL.

      Actually it aint funny at all, i really spend a lot money on stuff that i could live without, and usually , no matter whether i go to a shop with a list or not i end up buying more stuff than i intended. And now it's getting even worse since i no longer live with my parents.

    • profile image

      Nash 8 years ago

      Go to the library

    • profile image

      Rakel 8 years ago

      I loved the article, I'm a shopahalic.

      But what the hell! I'm looking for help and I scroll down and there are books on sale!!! NO!!!!!!

    • Douglas45 profile image

      Douglas45 8 years ago from Winston-Salem, NC

      Good information, may reference you w/ link.

    • J. McCoy profile image

      J. McCoy 8 years ago from CA (originally)

      Thank you for this article. You have a lot of helpful advice. I'd like to encourage you to expand on the good info you have in this hub. Maybe a your thoughts as separate hub for most of the "Tips For Shopaholics." Thanks again for your perspective. Oh, and I'm also in Oklahoma.

    • profile image

      Roseanna Leaton 8 years ago

      Great article with good advice. The first step in curing a problem is in admitting it and "owning" it. Until you do that you cannot even get started in the search for a cure.

    • Kebennett1 profile image

      Kebennett1 8 years ago from San Bernardino County, California

      I find this site very helpful, very informative. You have a lot of good information, looks like you have done some research into the problem. Thanks.

    • MellasViews profile image

      MellasViews 9 years ago from Earth

      lol. i have mild bouts of shopoholic... bringing a friend who also has the same issue as me is worse though.. .she tells me to 'buy it... you need it' . lol. not helpful to bring her along with me. my boyfriend on the other hand always talks me out of things. lol. loved this article. ; )

    • sukkran profile image

      Mohideen Basha 9 years ago from TRICHY, TAMIL NADU, INDIA.

      hi, ashley tyler,

      nice hub, i love to read your pages.