Have any questions? Feel free to contact us:
+254 739 935 333, +254 756 454 585
Our Location
Muthangari Road 37, Lavington
Open Hours
Mon — Fri: 8 am — 5 pm Sat: 8 am — 1 pm Sun: CLOSED
What is Shopping Addiction? CBT Kenya
  • Comments: 3
  • Posted by: cbtkeadmin

What is Shopping Addiction? CBT Kenya

It is a behavioral addiction whereby a person shops compulsively to relieve distressing negative emotions like anxiety, pain and sadness. The person can’t stop regardless of negative consequences. Some of us may think it’s merely irresponsibility with finances or lack of maturity.  Also, some people believe a person can change his or her behavior. However, this damaging disorder is centered around the process of spending.  It’s a ritual and the addict does not have control over it. Just like with any other addiction, shopping addiction can lead to difficulties with managing negative emotions like anxiety and depression. Those with shopping addiction who are unable to cope with these emotions may start using drugs and alcohol to self-medicate their symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms of Shopping Addiction

Shopping is a part of life for most people whether it is in a store or online. For many, shopping is a pleasurable activity. But, for some people, the pursuit of that reward can become compulsive and dangerous. Just as addiction to drugs and other behaviors, shopping addiction drives one to seek out the reward or “high.”

  • People who suffer from shopping addiction may experience anxiety when they’re not shopping. Many of these individuals lose interest in the items they buy as soon as they get home, and won’t even use them.
  • Shopping addiction tends to be more common among certain personality types. People who identify as extroverts may use shopping to boost or maintain their physical appearance and social appeal.
  • You may spend far more than initially planned every time you go shopping, or use money intended for other expenses to cover the costs of a shopping excursion.
  •  You might compulsively buy things you don’t need, or buy multiple copies of the same item, such as ten pairs of shoes.
  • You may stretch the truth about what you purchased and how much you spent, or lie about situations revolving around your shopping behaviors.
  •  Your relationships may start suffering due to the consequences of your shopping addiction. For instance, your loved ones may feel neglected as you start devoting more time shopping than to spending quality time with your family.

Things to Know About Shopping Addiction

  •  Shopping addiction is not a new disorder. It was recognized in the early nineteenth century and was cited as a psychiatric disorder in the early twentieth century.
  •  Shopping addiction is usually a way of coping with the emotional pain and difficulty of life, and it tends to make things worse rather than better for the shopper.
  • People who struggle with shopping addiction spend more time and money on shopping than they can afford. They many even get into financial problems as a result of their overspending.
  • People who are addicted to shopping are often left feeling empty and unsatisfied with their purchases when they get home.

You can get help

It isn’t fun to feel out of control or depressed about shopping too much. It isn’t pleasant to lose those close to you due to the arguments that may occur as a result of your shopping addiction. If you are, or a loved one is, struggling with a shopping addiction, it is time to get help now. Shopping addiction can be effectively treated using counseling, pharmacotherapy, and cognitive and behavioral therapies.

  • Cognitive therapy This therapy helps you identify and improve negative thinking patterns that may be driving your shopping addiction. For instance, if you measure your self-worth by the amount of new clothes and accessories you own, you’ll learn how to feel more confident about yourself without the need to buy new clothes.
  • Financial counseling –This therapy teaches you how to shop more responsibly and how to budget your finances. Both of which are useful skills to have when overcoming shopping addiction and leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
  • Self-help books –Many self-help guides are available to help shoppers overcome compulsive shopping habits and find new ways to have fun without overspending.
  • Support groups – Support groups allow you to bond with others recovering from compulsive shopping and addiction and are often available in your local community or addiction treatment center.

At CBT Kenya, we have friendly yet professional psychologists who are ready to have a talk with you. We encourage you to find out more about our services. We welcome any questions. Any questions related to psychotherapy, counselling, and psychology services are welcomed. Our purpose is to help you to achieve your therapeutic and life goals, to improve the quality of your life and to help you to build strong relationships in your life. Get in touch or book an appointment on +254 739 935 333, +254 756 454 585 or info@cbtkenya.org.


Author: cbtkeadmin
Open chat
Hello 👋
Can we help you?