Compulsive shopping addiction can impact anyone at any time. Just like an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or gambling, shopping disorders are largely a result of an underlying chemical or mental imbalance that is triggered by certain events.
Much like the rush a gambler received after a big win, a compulsive shopper gets the same euphoric feeling when in the middle of a spending spree. Conversely, the impending let down and feeling of anxiety and depression after the even can be severe.
There are numerous signs and symptoms of a problem. While not any one symptom will define a problem, many times someone who shows signs of them indeed does have one. Here are some of the more common symptoms of shopping addiction:
1) Hiding of Purchases – Often, the person will hide the shopping purchases from others in hopes they will not discover the stash of goods they just bought. Of course, over time the hiding becomes more sophisticated and harder to keep from those close to them.
2) Excessive Credit Cards and Debt – Another common sign is running up credit cards and other debt to the point of making minimum payments becomes difficult to impossible. A person with a more severe case will open new accounts, often in just their name, to acquire the additional funds to continue binge shopping.
3) Stacks of New Items Never Used – A closet full of clothes or other items with tags still on them is a sign of excessive spending and compulsive shopping.
4) Depression or Anxiety After Shopping – Often, the person will enter an almost panic stricken state after a compulsive shopping binge.