Compulsive Shopping / Spending Addiction
Most of us who suffer from compulsive shopping addiction (sometimes called spending addiction) are unaware of the problem. After all, everything around us seems to be saying, “Buy, buy, buy!” So…we do! We usually discover the problem only when we run out of money. Then, sadly, we think it’s an income problem. The problem isn’t income…it’s being out of control with the outgo. We addicts tend to spend money to compensate for areas in our lives where we are emotionally out of control or damaged. I’m sure the millionaire’s wife felt neglected for all the years he was pursuing his business goals while she was left with their several children to manage. The problem is triggered by emotion and shows itself as spending but we have to understand the cause of compulsive shopping addiction in order to get a handle on the solution.
Compulsive Shopping Cause
Since most people believe the problem is income, they mis-identify the cause as something outside of themselves; their job, boss, spouse, taxes, the creditors, prices, etc. This form of denial effectively blocks any kind of solution, locking us into an ever deepening problem. Though spending is usually the main symptom, and this, triggered by emotion, the cause goes much deeper. When we continue to pile up spending, the cause is usually rooted in the Spending Cycle: 1. We start with an emptiness, or negative self-esteem; a feeling of incompleteness. 2. Signals all around us tell us if we had some thing, we’d be seen as more important, successful, loveable, or complete, etc. The signals come from family, friends, co-workers, TV, radio, the Internet…anyone who has influence over us. 3. We spend to get that success feeling, sharing news of our shrewd acquisition with anyone who will say, “oooooooo.” 4. When the bills come in we feel even more incomplete and powerless than before, starting the cycle all over again. Until we own the cause as something within us, we will never have a solution. The actual cause of compulsive shopping addiction, then, is that feeling of emptiness and low self-esteem. Solving this incompleteness is key to finding the solution to compulsive shopping addiction.
Shopping Addiction Solution
Once we finally identify the problem correctly, as something within us, we still run a big risk of seeking the wrong solution. Companies make billions selling us false solutions to our spending problem. The first group of “solutions” are like “make-up.” Because Debt Consolidation Loans, Refinancing, Cash Advances and more Credit Cards hide the blemishes but do nothing to heal them. The second group, are like “Plastic Surgery”. Because Debt Management Services, Credit Counseling, etc. intervene in our financial lives and alter our spending situation, but still don’t fix the problem. When they’re gone, you’re still faced with the addict in the mirror. Then there are the false solutions we sell ourselves, the things you do to replace your spending addiction with another addiction, like drinking, prescription drugs, food, etc. Instead, we need the kind of help that eliminates the Spending Cycle…the kind of help that gives us power, even miraculous power over the incompleteness at the root of our problem. This help can only come from God. The Debtor’s Anonymous 12 Steps lead us to God as the only power over a spending addiction. is a book from Debtor’s Anonymous that can provide hope. Just like alcoholism or any other serious addiction, we can’t solve it ourselves because the problem is an emptiness within us. Until God fills that void, we are unable to solve the symptoms that the void causes.
Most compulsive debtors will answer “yes” to at least eight of the following 15 questions.
1. Are your debts making your home life unhappy?
2. Does the pressure of your debts distract you from your daily work?
3. Are your debts affecting your reputation?
4. Do your debts cause you to think less of yourself?
5. Have you ever given false information in order to obtain credit?
6. Have you ever made unrealistic promises to your creditors?
7. Does the pressure of your debts make you careless of the welfare of your family?
8. Do you ever fear that your employer, family or friends will learn the extent of your total indebtedness?
9. When faced with a difficult financial situation, does the prospect of borrowing give you an inordinate feeling of relief?
10. Does the pressure of your debts cause you to have difficulty sleeping?
11. Has the pressure of your debts ever caused you to consider getting drunk?
12. Have you ever borrowed money without giving adequate consideration to the rate of interest you are required to pay?
13. Do you usually expect a negative response when you are subject to a credit investigation?
14. Have you ever developed a strict regimen for paying off your debts, only to break it under pressure?
15. Do you justify your debts by telling yourself that you are superior to the “other” people, and when you get your “break” you’ll be out of debt overnight?
How did you score? If you answered yes to eight or more of these questions, the chances are that you have a problem with compulsive debt, or are well on your way to having one. If this is the case, today can be a turning point in your life.
We have all arrived at this crossroad. One road, a soft road, lures you on to further despair, illness, ruin, and in some cases, mental institutions, prison, or suicide. The other road, a more challenging road, leads to self-respect, solvency, healing, and personal fulfillment. We urge you to take the first difficult step onto the more solid road now.
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