Welcome to our digital detoxing series! A series on how to stop addictions toFortnite,Facebook,Instagram,porn,Netflix, Youtube,Tinder… Findall the posts about digital addiction. Today, let’s talk about how to quit the shopping addiction.
- What’s the shopping addiction?
- Addiction to shopping, a “real” addiction?
- What’s considered shopping addiction
- How much shopping is too much?
- Some online shopping addiction facts & statistics
- Symptoms & Causes of the shopping addiction
- Why is shopping so addictive?
- Possible causes of shopping dependency
- Symptoms, Causes and Signs of shopping addiction
- Problems, impacts & bad effects of shopping
- Some benefits of shopping
- health problems
- impact on brain & mental health
- impact on relationships
- How to stop & quit your shopping addiction
- Main steps and solutions to break the shopping addiction
- Best shopping blocker apps & functionalities
- where to seek extra help?
- To Go Further
- How to help someone with shopping addiction
- Best books about online shopping addiction
- Research about online shopping addiction
What is the shopping addiction?
The activity or process of buying goods or services.
Addiction to shopping, a “real” addiction?
Officially an addiction?
First, let’s have a look to the DSM-5,the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Does it includes shopping addiction?
No, shopping addiction is not listed in the DSM-5.
So what means “shopping addiction”?
A shopping addiction is an addiction to the act of shopping. It is characterized by an excessive desire to buy new things, even when one cannot afford them. Shopping addictions can lead to financial problems and debt, as well as emotional difficulties such as anxiety and depression.
What is considered shopping addiction?
There are a few key criteria that are generally used to diagnose a shopping addiction. These include:
- 1. A strong and persistent urge to shop, even when you don’t really need or want anything.
- 2. Shopping excessively, to the point where it interferes with your work, social life, or family responsibilities.
- 3. Feeling unable to control your shopping habits, even though you know they’re causing problems in your life.
- 4. Feeling guilty, ashamed, or embarrassed about your shopping habits.
- 5. Continuing to shop despite the financial, legal, or relationship problems it’s causing.
How much shopping is too much?
There is no definitive answer to this question. Some people may feel that they spend too much time shopping if they find themselves spending several hours a day browsing through stores or online shopping sites. Others may only feel that they are spending too much time shopping if they are spending more money than they can afford. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide how much time is too much time spent on shopping.
Some online shopping addiction facts & statistics
We can provide you with some statistics related to online shopping addiction:
- 1. According to a study by CouponFollow, 57% of online shoppers admit to making a purchase they regretteddue to compulsive shopping behavior.
- 2. A survey conducted by Finder.com found that 23% of Americans have made a purchase they regretted while under the influence of alcohol, highlighting how impulsive online shopping can be.
- 3. A study by Harris Poll found that 81% of Americans have made an online purchase in the past year, and 20% of those shoppers made purchases at least once a week.
- 4. According to a survey by Statista, 42% of online shoppers in the US reported spending more moneyonline than they had intended.
- 5. A study by the University of California, San Francisco found that online shopping addiction affects approximately 5.5% of the US population.
Is the shopping addiction widespread?
Yes, there are many people who struggle with shopping addiction, also known as compulsive buying disorder. This condition is characterized by an intense and uncontrollable urge to shop, often leading to financial problems, relationship difficulties, and other negative consequences. According to some estimates, as many as 5-8% of the general population may be affected by this disorder. However, it is important to note that not everyone who enjoys shopping or occasionally overspends is necessarily addicted.
Symptoms, Causes and Signs of shopping addiction
Why is shopping so addictive?
There are a number of reasons why shopping is addictive. For some people, it is a way to cope with anxiety or boredom. For others, it is a way to feel good about themselves. Shopping can also be a way to relieve stress.
Possible causes of shopping dependency
There is no single cause of shopping addiction, but it is often associated with other mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Shopping addiction is also more common in people who have a history of trauma or abuse.
Signs & Symptoms of shopping addiction
Now let’s see if you have the shopping addiction problem.
- 1. You spend more money on shopping than you can afford.
- 2. You shop even when you don’t need anything.
- 3. You can’t resist a sale.
- 4. You frequently buy things you don’t end up using.
- 5. You often return items you’ve bought.
- 6. You feel guilty or ashamed after shopping.
- 7. Your shopping habits are impacting your life in a negative way.
Problems, impacts & bad effects of shopping: should you quit?
What are some benefits of shopping
Some people enjoy shopping because it gives them a sense of accomplishment, while others find it therapeutic. It can also be a form of entertainment and a way to socialize. Shopping can also be a great way to save money.But at the opposite, what can be some shopping addiction problems addicts suffer from?
general health problems
Shopping can have a number of negative effects on your health. It can lead to weight gain, as well as increase your risk for developing diabetes and heart disease. Shopping can also be a source of stress, which can lead to a number of health problems, including anxiety and depression.
shopping and sleep disorder
Yes, shopping can create sleep disorders or sleep problems. This can happen in several ways:
- 1. Stress and Anxiety: Shopping can be a stressful and anxiety-inducing experience, especially if you are on a tight budget or have a long list of things to buy. This can lead to increased levels of stress and anxiety, which can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- 2. Late-Night Shopping: If you are someone who likes to shop late at night, this can disrupt your sleep patterns. The bright lights and stimulation from shopping can keep you awake and make it harder to wind down before bed.
- 3. Financial Worries: If shopping leads to financial worries or debt, this can cause stress and anxiety that can keep you up at night.
- 4. Blue Light Exposure: Shopping online or on your phone can expose you to blue light, which can suppress the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. This can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Overall, while shopping itself may not directly cause sleep disorders or problems, the stress, anxiety, and other factors associated with shopping can certainly contribute to them.
shopping affecting your brain & mental health: bad for brain and mental health?
Some effects of shopping on your brain
Shopping can have a negative impact on your brain in several ways. First, the act of shopping can release dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. This dopamine release can lead to shopping becoming a addictive behavior.
Additionally, shopping can also lead to decision fatigue, which is when the brain becomes exhausted from making too many decisions. This can lead to impulsive spending and poor financial decision-making. Finally, the constant exposure to marketing and advertising can lead to materialism, which is the excessive desire for possessions. This can lead to feelings of discontentment and dissatisfaction with what you have, as well as feelings of envy and jealousy towards others.
Some effects of shopping on your mental health
Shopping can have a number of negative effects on your mental health, including increasing your levels of anxiety and stress, leading to impulse buying and overspending, and creating a sense of dependency on material possessions.
Does shopping cause stress and anxiety?
Yes, shopping can cause stress or anxiety in some people. Shopping can be overwhelming, especially when there are too many choices or when there is a limited amount of time to make a decision. Some people may also feel anxious about spending money or making the wrong purchase.
Additionally, crowded stores or long lines can add to the stress and anxiety of shopping.
Can shopping addiction lead to sadness and depression?
Yes, shopping addiction can lead to sadness and depression. People with shopping addiction often experience feelings of guilt, shame, and anxiety related to their excessive spending habits, which can contribute to feelings of sadness and depression.
Additionally, the financial strain caused by shopping addiction can lead to stress and worry, which can also contribute to feelings of sadness and depression. It is important for individuals with shopping addiction to seek professional help to address their underlying emotional and psychological issues and develop healthier coping mechanisms.
Dopamine and shopping
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in the brain’s reward system. When we experience something pleasurable, our brain releases dopamine, which reinforces the behavior that led to the pleasurable experience. This reinforcement encourages us to repeat the behavior in the future.
Shopping can trigger the release of dopamine in the brain, particularly when we find a product that we really like or when we get a good deal. The anticipation of finding something new or exciting can also stimulate dopamine release.
For some people, shopping can become addictive, as they seek out the dopamine rush that comes with each purchase. This can lead to compulsive buying behaviors and financial problems.
However, it’s important to note that dopamine is only one factor in shopping behavior. Other factors, such as social and cultural influences, personal values, and emotional states, can also play a role.
shopping effects on Focus, productivity, attention span, academic performance…
Yes, shopping can have an impact on focus, productivity, attention span, and academic performance. Here are some ways in which shopping can affect these areas:
- 1. Time management: Shopping can take up a lot of time, which can affect productivity and focus. If students spend too much time shopping, they may not have enough time to study or complete their assignments, which can negatively impact their academic performance.
- 2. Financial stress: Shopping can also cause financial stress, which can impact focus and productivity. If students are worried about money or have overspent, they may find it difficult to concentrate on their studies.
- 3. Distractions: Shopping can be a distraction, especially if students are shopping online or on their phones during class or study time. This can lead to a lack of focus and attention span, which can negatively impact academic performance.
- 4. Physical fatigue: Shopping can be physically tiring, especially if students are carrying heavy bags or walking around for long periods of time. This can lead to fatigue, which can impact productivity and focus.
Overall, while shopping can be a fun and enjoyable activity, it is important for students to manage their time and finances effectively to avoid negative impacts on their academic performance.
A word about ADHD and shopping
Yes, people with ADHD may interact differently with shopping. Some possible ways that ADHD could affect shopping behavior include:
- 1. Impulsivity: People with ADHD may be more impulsive when it comes to shopping, making impulsive purchases without thinking through the consequences.
- 2. Difficulty with decision-making: People with ADHD may struggle with making decisions, especially when faced with a lot of choices. This can make shopping overwhelming and stressful.
- 3. Distractibility: People with ADHD may be easily distracted by other things while shopping, such as their surroundings or their own thoughts. This can make it difficult to stay focused on the task at hand.
- 4. Hyperfocus: On the other hand, some people with ADHD may experience hyperfocus, becoming completely absorbed in the shopping experience and spending more time and money than they intended.
- 5. Forgetfulness: People with ADHD may forget items they intended to purchase or forget where they put their shopping list, causing frustration and additional stress.
Overall, the way ADHD affects shopping behavior can vary from person to person and may depend on other factors such as the severity of their ADHD symptoms and their coping strategies.
affecting your relationships
shopping and self-esteem
Shopping can affect self-esteem in both positive and negative ways. Here are some ways shopping can affect self-esteem:
- 1. Positive self-esteem: When we buy something we really want or need, it can give us a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. This can boost our self-esteem and make us feel good about ourselves.
- 2. Negative self-esteem: On the other hand, if we buy something we can’t afford or don’t really need, it can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, and regret. This can have a negative impact on our self-esteem and make us feel bad about ourselves.
- 3. Comparison: Shopping can also lead to comparison with others, which can affect our self-esteem. For instance, if we see someone with a nicer outfit or a better car, it can make us feel inferior and lower our self-esteem.
- 4. Social validation: Shopping can also be a way to seek social validation, which can affect our self-esteem. For example, if we buy a luxury item to impress others, it can make us feel better about ourselves temporarily, but it may not be sustainable in the long run.
- 5. Body image: Shopping for clothes can also affect our body image and self-esteem. If we can’t find clothes that fit us well or look good on us, it can make us feel self-conscious and lower our self-esteem.
Overall, shopping can affect self-esteem in both positive and negative ways, depending on the circumstances and our mindset. It’s important to be mindful of our shopping habits and to prioritize our needs over our wants to maintain a healthy self-esteem.
shopping addiction leads to isolation and loneliness?
Yes, shopping addiction can lead to isolation and loneliness. When individuals become addicted to shopping, they may prioritize shopping over spending time with friends and family. This can lead to social isolation as they withdraw from important relationships and activities, and may also lead to financial strain and debt, further exacerbating feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Additionally, excessive shopping may be used as a coping mechanism for underlying emotional issues, such as anxiety and depression, which can also contribute to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Effects of shopping on your relationship
Positive effects of shopping on your relationship:
- 1. Bonding: Shopping together can be a fun and bonding experience for couples. It allows them to spend quality time together and engage in activities that they both enjoy.
- 2. Shared interests: Shopping can also help couples discover shared interests and preferences, creating a stronger connection between them.
- 3. Gift-giving: Shopping for gifts for each other can be a thoughtful and romantic gesture that shows how well you know each other.
- 4. Communication: Shopping together can improve communication between partners as they discuss their preferences, opinions, and choices.
Negative effects of shopping on your relationship:
- 1. Financial stress: Shopping can be a source of financial stress for couples, especially if they have different spending habits or budgets.
- 2. Conflicts: Disagreements over what to buy or how much to spend can lead to conflicts and tensions in the relationship.
- 3. Competition: Shopping can also create a sense of competition between partners, especially if one person is more interested in shopping than the other.
- 4. Pressure: Shopping for special occasions like birthdays or holidays can put pressure on couples to find the perfect gift, leading to stress and anxiety.
How To Stop & quit Your shopping Addiction
Finally you think you are addicted to shopping and you are wondering how to quit it? How to break and overcome your cravings for shopping?
Here are the best solutions, steps, supports, resources and help you can get to treat your shopping addiction.
Main steps and solutions to break the shopping addiction
The main steps to getting rid of a shopping addiction are to become aware of the problem, set realistic goals, make a plan to change spending habits, and seek professional help.
Actually, that’s what most documentation out there is about… However, quitting a digital addiction can be a bit trickier than that.
So our team, after testing many ways, designed a bulletproof way to overcome them. Here are some clear and practical steps that are very powerful to quit a digital addiction, including shopping:
1. Purge temptations: Get rid of shopping
First, cleaning your life from temptations is much easier than resisting to them. Disable or delete your shopping accounts, change the password and hide it somewhere you can’t access easily, keep your phone / computer far away… Out of sight out of mind.
Here is a video from our course the The Digital Purge. on how to add resistance to your temptations, so you become so lazy to engage with them that you give them up: