Articles Magazine

Do You Have A Shopping Addiction?

This article may use affiliate links. Eluxe Magazine only links to products we trust.

By Chere Di Boscio

It’s a typical image we’ve all seen in popular media: watch films like “Clueless” or “Confessions of a Shopping Addict” or TV shows like “Gossip Girl” and you’ll inevitably see pretty young women with their arms loaded full of  shopping bags. Go to discount stores like Target or Walmart and you’ll see T-shirts emblazoned with slogans like: Born to Shop or Shopaholic–even for kids! But it’s not that cute when you learn that Shopping Addiction is actually a ‘thing’.

shopaholic2

Image: www.imdb.com

 

That’s right,  now it’s official: overconsumption is an actual disease. Shopping Addiction as an illness (as opposed to a slogan) was first recognised in the boom years of the 1980’s when ‘greed was good’ and Wall Street was full of wolves, but even the ancient Greeks had a word for ‘the madness of overconsumption’ (onlomania, for you nerds out there). It’s an illness that more of us have than you’d think.

A full 40% of us recognise that we sometimes buy more than we need to or can afford, and in Spain alone (where ‘shopping as an activity’ isn’t as prevalent as it is in North America), the average person will spend €750 a year on items they will never even use. This is bad enough, but real shopping addicts go further, regularly purchasing more than they need or can pay for, sometimes going to extremes–extending credit, borrowing money, or even committing fraud–to do so. Their purchases make them feel better for awhile–it offer some ‘retail therapy’ as it were, hiding feelings of insecurity and dissatisfaction and giving the buyer a rush. But then it wears off, and has to be repeated, leaving the victim dissatisfied and depressed over behaviour they can’t seem to control.

According to one study by the Hospital Universitario de Bellvitage in Barcelona, between 6-7% of the Western population suffers from a true shopping addiction.–possibly more. It’s not surprising, given the pressures we are under to consume. Countless times every day, media including magazines, internet ads, billboards and television bombard us with new products that promise to somehow make us better people and make our lives more fulfilling. Online shopping has made over-consuming easier than ever before–a simple click of the mouse means that you don’t even need to leave the house to spend hundreds, if not thousands–online in just a few minutes.

wikicommons

But the promises for a shiny new future through consumption are truly empty: after shopping, 35% of women surveyed said they felt ‘tricked’ by the fashion industry into making purchases, while 40% of Europeans complained they felt pressured to buy into useless trends. Approximately the same percentage of people stated that they felt fashion trends were promoted so much in society that following them (or not) could directly affect many of their close personal relationships.

For shopping addicts, the effects are even more intense. Yet they still keep consuming. Why? The Confederation of Consumers and Users in Spain (CECU) has established five key reasons people engage in over-consumption:

  • lack of stimulation in their daily lives
  • vulnerability to consumer messages
  • the buying into a consumption lifestyle
  • a hedonistic personality  W
  • being female. Women comprise the large majority of those with a shopping addiction, but middle class men between the ages of 20-55 who live in large cities also fall prey.

In a culture that condones and even encourages materialism, many people believe, subconsciously or not, that buying the right car, the latest electronic gadget, or an item of clothing is the key to attaining happiness and success. They may make purchases in anticipation of greater social acceptance, or to boost their self-image, self-esteem, or sense of self-worth. Shopping purely for immediate personal gratification has been glorified and deemed “retail therapy,” and overspending is fairly easy to do in a world that provides easy access to credit. Although compulsive spending may have its roots in these cultural influences, the behavior is typically linked to more complex issues.

Compulsive buying is often used as an emotion-regulation strategy so that a person can avoid or alleviate negative feelings and enhance or prolong positive emotions, at least temporarily. The cycle of compulsive spending moves from apprehension or anxiety to a temporary feeling of pure elation  during the search for and acquisition of an item, but then  the cycle typically ends in feelings of guilt, shame and remorse.

shopping-addiction-590x315

Could you be a shopping addict? Here are the signs:

  • spending money that you don’t have. Credit cards should only fill the gaps between cash flows–say, if you’ve just scored a new job and haven’t been paid yet, and need a means of buying stuff until payday. They’re NOT offering ‘free money’–on the contrary, overusing credit cards means you’re likely to pay up to 30% more for whatever you’ve bought, when interest is considered.
  • feelings of worthlessness, depression or self-loathing after shopping. You just couldn’t help yourself, and you hate yourself for it.
  • making purchases on impulse. Do you often go out for groceries, for example, and come back with a new handbag, too?
  • regular arguments with those close to you about your spending habits. If your loved ones express concern about your spending habits, then you should really take note.
  • closets full of stuff you don’t need. The signs: tags still on clothes, shoes still in the box, gifts bought for others but never given, more stuff in your home than you have room for.
  • hoarding: even though you know you won’t use or wear stuff, you’re unwilling to get rid of it

Our consumer society tends to minimise or even glamourise this illness, making shopping addiction seem like a benign ‘feminine’ trait (whilst economising is ‘masculine’) or even cute (as in those T-shirts for little girls with ‘shopping addict’ emblazoned on the front). But the truth is, shopping addiction is a serious affliction that rips relationships apart, contributes to environmental destruction and ruins lives.

References and Further Reading

  1. Black, Donald. (2007, February). A Review of Compulsive Buying Disorder. World Psychiatry, 6(1). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1805733/
  2. Koran, L. M., Faber, R. J., Aboujaoude, E., Large, M. D., & Serpe, R. T. (2006). Estimated Prevalence of Compulsive Buying Behavior in the United States.  The American Journal of Psychiatry,  163(10), 1806-12. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/220500938?accountid=1229

Main image: Imdb.com



You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Privacy Policy

The Eluxe privacy policy applies to all your personal information, given and received. Personal information is information that might identify you, like your name, address, phone number, email, or website. When you visit our site, we may gather information about you such as your name, email, cookie information, and IP location. We may contact you regarding your preferences for information and updates. This information allows us to honour your requests for products and services and to improve our service to you. We never share or sell your personal information, unless we need to do so in order to provide a product, information or service that you have requested. Please note that no data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100% safe, thus, we cannot warrant that your information will be absolutely secure. Eluxe Magazine has a variety of safeguards – technical, administrative, and physical – in place to help protect against unauthorised access to, use, or disclosure of user information. We guarantee adherence to industry best practices that ensure complete security, and we fully comply with all federal regulations. If we change our privacy policy, we will tell you.

Copyright

All material on our site is original unless stated. Original content is fully copyrighted and may not be reproduced without permission. We make every effort to ensure all published images respect appropriate copyright. Should there be any issue, please contact us immediately.

Third party links

Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third party products or services on our website. These third party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these sites.

Eluxe Magazine uses affiliate links throughout the site. We may be compensated if readers click on those links. We only provide links to products and services we genuinely like and trust.

Our Site will also occasionally contain links to, and quotations of, material from other sites. Eluxe Magazine is not responsible for the content or the privacy practices of other sites and expressly disclaims any liability arising out of such content or practices. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave Eluxe Magazine’s Site, and to read the privacy statements of any website that may collect personally identifiable information. Some of the links found on our site may be links that have been paid for by the sponsor. Under no circumstances does Eluxe Magazine accept responsibility for, nor shall Eluxe Magazine be liable for any violation of personal or proprietary rights of you and/or any third party (including, but not limited to, copyright, trademark, patent, service mark, misappropriation, unfair competition, trade secrets, privacy publicity rights, etc.), false advertising that is harmful, or violates any law or governmental regulation and/or any media that may constitute libel or slander of any person or entity or infringe upon or violate the right of privacy or any other right of any person or entity arising out of content, practices, or other media of any third party links.

Eluxe Magazine is not responsible for the content or the privacy practices of other sites we link into and expressly disclaims any liability arising out of such content or practices. Under no circumstances does Eluxe Magazine accept responsibility for, nor shall Eluxe Magazine be liable for any damages or detriment arising out of content, practices, or other media of third party links.

Editorial Statement and Disclaimer

The views expressed at here are the views of the Eluxe staff and do not necessarily represent the views of Eluxe sponsors and/or partners. Eluxe content is for informational and entertainment purposes, and any views expressed should not be accepted as a substitute for qualified expertise. Though we make every effort to provide accurate information, it is up to you, the reader, to use Eluxe’s content responsibly; in return, we promise to publish responsibly. We stand by our content, our writers, and our editors. In the rare case we make a mistake, we will take whatever reasonable course of action we can to acknowledge and correct it.

Disclaimer and Limitation of Liability

EXCEPT AS EXPRESSLY SET FORTH IN THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS, YOU EXPRESSLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT THE SITE, CONTENT, PRODUCTS AND/OR SERVICES ON THE SITE ARE PROVIDED “AS IS” AND ON AN “AS AVAILABLE” BASIS. TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW AND EXCEPT AS EXPRESSLY SET FORTH IN THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS, TGT DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. ELUXE MAGAZINE DOES NOT REPRESENT OR WARRANT THAT THE SITE WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR-FREE, THAT ANY DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED, OR THAT THE SITE OR THE SERVER THAT MAKES THE SITE AVAILABLE ARE FREE FROM VIRUSES OR ANYTHING ELSE HARMFUL. FURTHER, EXCEPT AS EXPRESSLY SET FORTH IN THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS, ELUXE MAKES NO WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT THE ACCURACY, ADEQUACY, USEFULNESS, RELIABILITY, OR COMPLETENESS OF THE SITE, PRODUCTS, SERVICES, CONTENT, THE CONTENT OF ANY THIRD-PARTY SITE LINKED TO OR FROM THIS SITE, COMMENTS, INFORMATION, INFORMATION PROVIDED BY OUR VENDORS, OR ANY OTHER ITEMS OR MATERIALS ON THE SITE OR LINKED TO FROM THE SITE.

ELUXE ASSUMES NO LIABILITY OR RESPONSIBILITY FOR (A) ANY, ERRORS, MISTAKES OR INACCURACIES OF THE CONTENT, PRODUCTS, SERVICES, INFORMATION, SITE AND MATERIALS SET FORTH ON OR MADE AVAILABLE THROUGH THE SITE, (B) PERSONAL INJURY OR PROPERTY DAMAGE, OF ANY NATURE WHATSOEVER, RESULTING FROM YOUR ACCESS TO OR USE OF THE SITE, PRODUCTS, SERVICES OR ANY THIRD PARTY SITE(S), PRODUCTS OR SERVICES, (C) ANY UNAUTHORISED ACCESS TO OR USE OF THE SERVERS THAT HOST THE SITE OR ANY THIRD PARTY SITE(S) AND/OR ANY AND ALL PERSONAL INFORMATION STORED THEREIN, (D) ANY INTERRUPTION OR CESSATION OF TRANSMISSION TO OR FROM THE SITE OR THIRD PARTY SITE(S), (E) ANY BUGS, VIRUSES, TROJAN HORSES OR THE LIKE, WHICH MAY BE TRANSMITTED TO OR THROUGH THE SITE OR ANY THIRD PARTY SITE(S) BY TGT OR ANY THIRD PARTY, AND/OR (F) ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS IN THE NETWORK OR ANY CONTENT, INFORMATION AND MATERIALS (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THIRD PARTY SITE(S)) OR FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE OF ANY KIND INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE USE OF ANY OF THE FOREGOING.

NO PERSON (INCLUDING ANY AGENT, DEALER OR REPRESENTATIVE OF ELUXE MAGAZINE) IS AUTHORISED TO MAKE ANY REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY CONCERNING PRODUCTS AND BY USING THIS SITE, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT YOU HAVE NOT RELIED ON ANY OTHER WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS.

IN NO EVENT SHALL ELUXE OR ITS SUBSIDIARIES, AFFILIATES, AGENTS, SUPPLIERS, VENDORS, MANUFACTURERS OR DISTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, INCIDENTAL, EXEMPLARY OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF USE, DATA, REVENUE OR PROFITS, BUSINESS INTERRUPTION, OR LOSS OF BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY OR GOODWILL, ARISING FROM OR IN CONNECTION WITH (A) THE USE OF, OR INABILITY TO USE, THE SITE; (B) THE PROVISION OF OR FAILURE TO PROVIDE SERVICES, PRODUCTS, MATERIALS, CONTENT, OR SOFTWARE AVAILABLE FROM, ON OR THROUGH THE SITE OR ANY THIRD-PARTY WEBSITE(S); OR (C) THE CONDUCT OF OTHER USERS OF THE SITE, WHETHER BASED ON CONTRACT, TORT, NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY OR OTHERWISE, EVEN IF ELUXE MAGAZINE HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. YOU ASSUME COMPLETE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR USE OF THE SITE. YOUR SOLE REMEDY AGAINST TGT FOR DISSATISFACTION WITH THE SITE OR ANY CONTENT IS TO STOP USING THE WEBSITE. THAT SAID, IF ELUXE MAGAZINE IS FOUND TO BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ANY DAMAGE OR LOSS ARISING OUT OF OR WHICH IS IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH YOUR USE OF THE SITE, ANY CONTENT, OR PURCHASE OF ANY PRODUCTS OR SERVICES ON OR THROUGH THE SITE, ELUXE MAGAZINE’S LIABILITY SHALL NOT EXCEED $100.00 IN THE AGGREGATE.

These Terms of Service (together with our Privacy Policy, which is expressly incorporated herein by reference and which can be accessed on this Site, and any other terms that may appear on the Site from time-to-time) contain the entire understanding between you and us with respect to your use and access of this Site, and supersede all prior agreements, terms, conditions and understandings, both written and oral, with respect to such use and access of the Site. No representation, statement or inducement, whether oral or written, not contained in these Terms of Service (and any other terms that may appear on the Site from time-to-time) or the Privacy Policy shall bind any party to this agreement. No additional or different terms or conditions will be binding upon us unless expressly agreed to in writing by an officer of ELUXE MAGAZINE. No other representative has any authority to waive, alter, vary or add to these Terms of Service. Before using this Site please read through all referenced documents carefully.

Aggregate information (non-personally identifiable information)

Eluxe Magazine may, from time to time, automatically collect aggregate information about our visitors to our advertisers, sponsors, promotional partners and affiliates. This aggregate information includes, but is not limited to, IP addresses connecting to our site, how many persons visited a particular page or activity, dates and times of image uploads, device characteristics, operating system, browser type, type of connection, page and image viewing statistics, and incoming and outgoing links.

Like most websites, we use log files to store this information. None of this automatically collected technical information is associated with any identified person at the time it is collected, but it could be associated with you under two circumstances: First, if you choose to give us personal data about you as described above, the technical information we collect that would otherwise be anonymous could instead be logged as coming from you. Second, if we are required to disclose our server logs as a result of a subpoena or other legal process, some third party such as your internet provider could match our anonymous technical information with you, using information beyond what is found on our servers.

Eluxe Magazine may use cookies, web beacons, pixel tags, or other anonymous tracking information to improve our server’s interaction with your computer, and we may partner with third party advertisers who may (themselves or through their partners) place or recognise a unique cookie on your browser. These cookies enable more customised ads, content, or services to be provided to you. To trigger these cookies, we may pass an encrypted or “hashed” (non-human readable) identifier corresponding to your email address to a Web advertising partner, who may place a cookie on your computer. No personally identifiable information is on, or is connected to, these cookies. Although our servers currently don’t respond to “do-not-track” requests (see below), you can block these cookies in other ways, for example by searching “[your browser] + disable cookies.”

Eluxe Magazine will never share, sell, lease, or rent PII to unaffiliated third parties, except in the following circumstances:

a) If we have a good faith belief that we must disclose such information for legal reasons, such as to enforce our Terms of Service, protect or assert the rights, property interests, or personal safety of Eluxe (including its employees, directors, suppliers, distributors, service providers, users of the Website or others), or if we are otherwise required to disclose such information by law. We will disclose information only to the extent necessary to comply with the purpose of the request.

b) We may share aggregate, anonymous or summary information regarding our customers and their behaviors with partners, advertisers or other third parties. This data is not personal information and so will not identify you personally. We may share information with companies that provide support services to us, such as a printer, mailing house, fulfillment-company, credit card processor, email service provider or web host, amongst others. These parties may need personal information about you in order to perform their functions. However, these parties may not use any personal information we share with them about you for any other purpose other than in connection with performing supporting functions for us.

You have the right at any time to prevent us from contacting you for marketing purposes. If and when we send a promotional communication to a user, the user can opt out of further promotional communications by following the unsubscribe instructions provided in each promotional e-mail. Please note that notwithstanding the promotional preferences you indicate by unsubscribing or opting out in some other fashion, we may continue to send you administrative emails including, for example, periodic updates to our Privacy Policy.

In order to access a profile on Eluxe Magazine’s shop, you must first create an account with a username and password. The registration system requires that a valid email address be used to confirm the account. You should choose a username that does not include your last name and does not specify your city or your address. Eluxe Magazine asks that you use your first name only, or an alias, for your display name. This is to safeguard your privacy and protection. We do not use and cannot access this information.

Eluxe Magazine is 100% opposed to unsolicited commercial email (“spam”). We do not have any desire to send unsolicited marketing emails to anyone without permission and we do not sell or provide user email addresses to any unauthorised third party in violation of this Policy. All of our newsletters and other general email marketing communications also include an “unsubscribe” opt-out link that you may use to tell us to stop sending you marketing emails.

In the event of a change in control resulting from, for example, a sale to, or merger with, another entity, or in the event of a sale of assets or a bankruptcy, Eluxe Magazine reserves the right to transfer your personal information to the new party in control, or the party acquiring assets. We will only do so if the party we transfer the information to agrees that they will abide by our Privacy Policy for as long as they hold the information, and that they will not transfer the information to any other party who will not abide by our Privacy Policy.

We use third-party advertising companies to deliver online advertising. These companies facilitate the delivery of ads, conduct market research, and use cookies for record-keeping purposes. These cookies sometimes enable the companies to serve you ads tailored to things you have shown an interest in based on your prior web activity. This is generally known as behavioral advertising. For example, this means that if you frequently read movie reviews online, it is possible that you might see ads on other websites relating to upcoming movies. Online advertising companies generally conduct this activity in an anonymous format, with online information not combined with information that would allow for your identification.

The third-party companies that will be serving advertisements on Eluxe Magazine may include DoubleClick, Google and Taboola.

We may periodically modify, alter, or update these policies. We will alert users to any material changes to this policy by posting the revised information here. We encourage you to review our Privacy Policy on a regular basis to stay informed about how we are protecting the personal information we collect. Your continued use of TGT’s website constitutes your agreement to this Privacy Policy and any future updates.