Are You Addicted to Shopping?

Do you have a shopping disorder?To find out, answer yes or no to the following questions.1. Does a shopping trip elevate your mood?

2. When you find something that fits, do you buy it in every color?

3. Do you have a junk drawer, closet or storage area that contains unknown items?

4. Is your credit card maxed out on purchases?

5. Do you hide items you bought on a shopping spree from loved ones?If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might have a shopping disorder.Are you aware of your purchasing habits?Acting on ImpulsesDo you add one or two more items to your shopping cart when you’re in the check out line?Diagnosis: If you answered yes, you are an impulse purchaser. You may be motivated by anxiety or boredom.Before you buy: distract yourself in line. Send a text message to a friend. Do breathing exercises. Visualize all the money you’ll save if you resist the urge to buy the items in front of you. Notice if your impulses decrease when you distract yourself.

The Visitor

Have you ever seen an item in a store but not bought it – and then thought about it constantly and visited it from time to time?Yes?Diagnosis: You are a visiting purchaser.Before you buy: Most visiting purchasers end up buying the item after a while. Use the time that you would have spent visiting purchases to price-compare for a less expensive product; to make something similar; or to see a show.The Geek

Do you have to have the most up-to-date, technological gadget?Yes?Diagnosis: you are a geek purchaser.Before you buy: think about whether or not you really need the item. Use a scale system: on a scale of 1-10 (10 representing a necessity – i.e. an item that you desperately need for your life to function – like a toothbrush and 1 representing an item that is kind of cool to have around but you rarely use (like a heart rate monitor to use when you walk the dog around the block)). Put back any items that rates less than 8. Give it a couple of days and see if you even remember that you were going to buy the item. Use the money that you would have spent to do something fun with a loved one as a reward for not buying the item. Repeat each time you get the geek urge.The Packer

When you shop at Costco, do you stock up on everything in packages of five or more?Yes?Diagnosis: you are a packer purchaser.Before you buy: Pull your cart over to a quiet corner of the store and take a hard look at your purchases. Think about the items you’re buying. Will you really use all of these things? Are they going to take up too much space in your home? Are you getting a super deal on buying bulk or are you just getting a thrill out of buying lots of stuff? Would you be satisfied if you put half of the items back? Try it. Maybe you’ll be surprised. Reward yourself for resisting the urge to hoard.

The Emotional Shoppper

Do you go therapy shopping when you feel down?Yes?You are an emotional purchaser.Before you buy: check in and think about why you’re feeling down. Maybe a walk to clear your head or some journaling might be more beneficial than a new t-shirt that you don’t really like? Try to do something other than shopping until you feel better. Reward yourself for resisting the shopping urge by getting a pedicure or pampering yourself.Prescription

The main question to ask yourself is why are you buying so many things. Remember, if everything is special, nothing is special. We all deserve to have something special in our lives, but sometimes the things we buy are substitutes for the best things in life – those that are free like love. So, think before you buy and see if you notice any changes in your life and relationships.

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