When people think of addiction, their first thought usually has a lot to do with substance abuse. But addiction can manifest itself in many different ways, and shopping addiction, otherwise known as oniomania, is a serious problem for many people. Depending on the source, shopping addiction can also be considered an impulse control disorder or a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
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About Shopping Addiction
Shopping addiction is similar to other addictions in that it gives the addict extreme highs and lows. While purchasing something, the addict experiences a high, which is followed by a low, where the person can become depressed and remorseful. This low can result in the addict pursuing another high, as the addict does what they think they need in order to feel better. Shopping addiction creates a vicious cycle of highs and lows, which can be extremely damaging psychologically. Often, shopping addiction is traced to issues of childhood neglect and loneliness, as the addict tries to fill a void in an unhealthy way. A consumer culture has also contributed to rising numbers of people addicted to shopping.
Treatment of Shopping Addiction
Because shopping addiction is a psychological addiction, the approach to treatment is based mainly on therapy that will address the deeper emotional history of the addict. There are a lot of psychological difficulties present in shopping addiction, and these issues are dealt with in therapy and counselling. This treatment will explore problems of attachment, deprivation, anxiety, shame, and many other aspects of the addiction. For shopping addiction, a 30-day rehabilitation program is suggested. A longer-term program is suggested for those who feel they require the extra time.
Post Rehabilitation of Shopping Addiction
Shopping addiction has many underlying causes and factors, and these are issues that need to be worked through. Aftercare requires a lot of support, and a lot of work on the part of the addict. Support groups are helpful, and the addict should continue to get both individual and group therapy after they finish an inpatient program. Shopping addiction cannot be cured, but therapy that addresses the issues that caused the disorder will reduce the probability of a relapse.
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