Is There Hope For Shopping Addicts?

How Do You Rehabilitate Shopping Addiction?

Shopping addiction or ‘oniomania’ is a condition that is experienced by people who have an uncontrollable urge to purchase objects without any regard for their buying power or purpose of owning the items in the first place. The addiction may not necessarily be seen as a behavioral disorder, except in cases where it happens alongside other existing problems such as mood disorders or substance abuse. It is because of its seemingly harmless characteristic compared with other, more serious clinical conditions that people who often have it are in a state of denial. You have to therefore pay close attention to the signs and causes of shopping addiction and how to arrest it before it’s too late.

Why does shopping addiction happen?

Studies have revealed that shopping addiction seems to be hereditary, and is compounded by stress triggers in a person’s life such as family or relationship problems, work issues, and physical/health conditions. What makes this addiction all the more challenging is people often have a difficult time distinguishing between a persistent buying compulsion and an occasional buying spree that tends to be justified by a perceived need to acquire something. Perhaps two clear and basic indications of shopping addiction would be

  • incurring a significant amount of bills at the expense of giving priority to your more essential expenses; and,
  • accumulating unnecessary items that leave your home all cluttered

 How do you cure shopping addiction?

Like any other addiction, shopping addiction can be addressed but only if you can admit to yourself that you have a problem, with no ifs and buts. Although realistically, an addiction has no foolproof cure like that one used for physical ailments like the measles or the flu, it can be treated with the cooperation of the addict and the help of professionals and science.

Nowadays, treatment methods have been on the rise to treat ‘shopaholics.’  Therapy is the name of the game, and there are certain approaches being employed that have been proven to work.

One-on-One Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavior Theraphy

It is believed that this form of treatment is the classic and most effective way of helping the shopping addict recover from the condition. It consists of one-on-one sessions with a therapist, usually at weekly intervals. The meetings are structured to allow the patient to graduate from one step before moving on to another. The treatment does usually not involve any drug or invasive procedure and gives the person the opportunity to practice better control in the treatment process.

 Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The structure of the therapy session is the same, but this time, the patient will join other patients and therapists for more group interactions and sharing. The advantage of this method is that patient would realize that there are others who are in the same position or are experiencing the same problem as he/she is, and therefore it eases feelings of guilt and embarrassment.

In-patient Treatment

The patient will set up residence in a rehab facility to isolate him/her temporarily from the outside world and be in a controlled environment.  Structured activities and programs are employed while in the center, much like what happens in treatment facilities for substance abuse patients.

Luxury In-Patient Centers

Luxury Treatment Facilities

This alternative uses a less clinical approach and provides a more comfortable living environment that eliminates the notion of being confined in a treatment clinic. As these centers cost more, the amenities they provide are unlike that of the traditional rehab facilities. More recreational activities are offered such as golf, horseback riding, and other luxuries.

Outpatient Program

If you are too busy to leave home and check into a facility, then the outpatient treatment program may just be your best option. Aside from going to the center for your regular sessions and perhaps obtaining medications, the program also enables the therapist to meet you to see your progress.


For acute cases, certain over-the-counter medications may be prescribed to arrest your condition. The medicines do not serve to cure your addiction, but to help support the withdrawal symptoms that you may experience during the course of treatment. Based on your attending doctor’s assessment, you may be prescribed medicines such as Diazepam, Alprazolam, Oxazepam, and Clonazepam to relieve you of any discomfort that may arise from your recovery process.

Be more conscious and sensitive to the signs of shopping addiction. While it may not directly affect your physical well-being, it can pose a serious threat to your financial situation and mental and emotional health if left undetected and ignored.

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