Could shopping be addictive?

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Everyone have experienced that urge to buy that one item on sale. Maybe, you walked past those shoes that you couldn’t leave the store without? Now imagine having that feeling constantly.

About 18 million adults in America, are shopping addicts, or compulsive shoppers according to a study on Healthline. This type of retail therapy can not only be destructive financially, but emotionally as well.

Former shopping addicts like Chioma *she asked only her middle name be used) knows this all too well. “I was depressed for a while, and didn’t know how to cope with it. I thought if I buy something new, I will feel better.”

Chioma explained that it took her almost losing her apartment, not having enough money to pay her rent from spending all her money shopping.

“I was about on the verge of being evicted, with a below balance. Yet I had a closet full of clothes and shoes, half of them still having tags on them,” she said. Luckily for Chioma, she had support from her family, who helped her seek therapy.

Dr. Ayanna Simmons from the Michigan School of Professional Psychology, says that shopping addiction or compulsive shopping, is much more than wanting the latest item.

“Compulsive shopping for some ways are temporary escape for people with depression or anxiety. The feeling of buying something new, creates the release of Dopamine from the brain. Therefore creating a temporary rush of happiness,” she said.

Simmons says that it becomes a problem when it start affecting their lives, as well others around them. “It becomes a problem when people find themselves using shopping instead of seeing medical help, resulting in strained relationships, serious hoarding or putting themselves or others around them in financial situations.”

Shopping addiction similar to gambling can place people into homelessness, debt and low credit. Like other additions, or mental health issues should not be ignored. The first step is to seek help with resources like TalkSpace , or GoodTherapy.

There’s nothing wrong with shopping, as long as you keep in mind you can’t buy happiness.