Retail Therapy Gone Wrong: 5 Signs That You Are Addicted To Shopping

Many people enjoy shopping. Shopping is a normal endeavor that a person does to get all the necessary things he need for everyday living. There are also some people who use shopping to lighten their mood and to feel good about themselves. They call this “retail therapy”. Indeed, shopping can be therapeutic up to a certain degree. But if you find yourself making a purchase because you found something irresistible- even when you don’t have the cash to pay for it, you might be suffering from a compulsive disorder.


Being shopaholic is not a laughing matter. A shopaholic will compulsively buy things, even those she doesn’t need. A single purchase will then lead to another and another, like an addiction. The thrill of buying material things outweighs the thought of potential consequences of overspending. If you feel the constant urge to shop, you need to read on.


Shopping Addition: What Is It?

Shopping can be used by an individual to cope with stress, anxiety, and depression. Like all addictions, it can come to a point where the person continues to spend excessive amount of money for unnecessary purchases when it is negatively affecting other aspects of her life. This addiction can also damage relationships, yet the shopaholic feels unable to stop or control her compulsion.

Shopping addiction is a serious problem and it may even lead to other psychological issues. If this problem is not addressed immediately, it can lead to legal problems, financial ruin, and development of other psychological disorders. Many shopaholics even turn to substance abuse to deal with the humiliation and emotional pain which their shopping addiction has brought about.

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Are You Addicted To Shopping?

What are the red flags of shopping addiction? Does purchasing unneeded supplies constitute shopping addiction? If you want to determine whether you or anyone you know has a problem with this form of addiction, you can look for these red flags.




  1. You shop when you feel sad, depressed, or angry. Retail therapy to relieve some stress is fun, especially when you buy something new for yourself. But if you shop whenever you’re feeling a negative emotion just to feel good again, that’s a sign that you might be addicted.
  2. You use your credit cards excessively. If you find yourself buying things through your credit card because you can’t pay cash, you might have a problem. Spending money you don’t have can lead to huge credit card bills which might eventually result to financial ruin.
  3. You don’t use the things you buy. If you have a lot of unopened shopping bags or if you have things with the tags still attached, it usually means two things: either you are buying things you don’t really need or you are shopping simply because you want to.
  4. You feel guilty and ashamed after a shopping spree. After you feel the rush of buying new things, you suddenly feel sad, ashamed, and guilty. You have to understand that many shopaholics are unable to seek the help they need because they feel ashamed.
  5. You are facing financial problems due to unnecessary purchases. Since you always buy things you don’t need, you might experience financial problems. This is especially true for shopaholics who use their credit cards excessively.
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If you suspect that you have a shopping addiction, you need to seek help. Start by reaching out to your family and friends. You have to understand the importance of seeking help for this condition because if it is left untreated, you might eventually face legal problems and damage important relationships.