How do you know if you’re addicted to shopping? | Asking for a Friend

We’re going shopping! For most of us, shopping just feels good I have to go on a mayor shopping spree

But have you ever wondered if your single handed attempt to revive the US economy with your shopping habit might be a little unhealthy … Or even … An addiction? How cute! And it’s shiny! So, the first step to figuring out if you have a problem is identifying what kind of buyer you are Are you an impulsive or compulsive buyer? Impulsive buying is like this … I wouldn’t wear this I would wear it maybe once for New Year’s Eve

And you feel like you need that one outfit for that one event but … And compulsive buying is like this … I’m at work but I’m still shopping You’re constantly preoccupied with the idea of buying things It’s the need to purchase rather than wanting any item in particular Somebody who is shopping so much during the day on the internet at work that they’ve gotten put on probation This is April Benson

She’s a psychologist who specializes in treating people with honest to God shopping addictions Or they’re taking two hour lunch hours because they forget They’re mesmerized by the stores they’re going into at lunch and they get fired Both impulsive and compulsive buying have been linked to shopping addictions But evidence shows that compulsive buying tends to have more serious consequences

And while pinpointing weather or not you have a shopping addiction isn’t an exact science, one study suggests that the brains of compulsive buyers react differently in purchasing situations than non compulsive buyers So, let’s have a look It starts here in the part of the brain called the nucleus accumbens This area is known as the pleasure center If you eat something you really like that region sees increased activity

And when you have sex or do addictive drugs, yeah … You get the picture Now in the study when compulsive buyers were shown products their nucleus accumbens saw more activity in those who didn’t have compulsive buying problems And that’s just the first part Think about what keeps you from buying in every single item on the flash sale It’s the cost, right? When we debate making a pricey purchase, we use a part of our brains called the insular cortex

Ever experienced buyers remorse? Yeah … You can partially thank that little guy I experienced some buyers remorse myself recently I need to make a return I got a thing for leather jackets But I don’t own two, I own about ten

And over the weekend I bought another one that I absolutely can’t afford It hurts But it has to go back Compulsive buyers in the study on the other hand showed less activity in the insular cortex when they were forced to consider the financial impact of their purchase So, it’s a double whammy

Compulsive buyers are getting more pleasure at the anticipation of buying and less negative reinforcement when it comes time to pay Now there’s a whole host of reasons why people over shop, right? There’s a lot of psychological and cultural factors at play as well The Joneses used to be the people that lived next door to us that had a lifestyle not so different from ours Now it’s like keeping up with the Kardashians Busted! Busted! I am an adult

I can do whatever I want That's what an alcoholic would say What are some things if I’m not in treatment that I can do to check myself? You can ask yourself these six questions … And if you can answer those six questions satisfactorily it’s probably not a compulsive purchase And some other ways to control shopping habits And think about it, do you really want to keep up with the Kardashians anyway? I feel like I'm trying to keep up

And I don't know what's wrong with me

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