Teens and college students develop compulsive shopping habits for different reasons. It can be to avoid negative feelings, fill an inner void, to seek approval, and feel in control. A shopaholic shops for different reasons often they like to distract themselves when problems arise. Trophy shoppers always look for the perfect item that will make them happy. There are bargain hunters who cannot pass up a good deal even when they don’t need the items. These are the different type of compulsive shopping addiction.
Many teens and college students become addicted to shopping because of the way it make them feel. It can be exciting and fun to buy new items almost like being on a high. When shopping the brain releases endorphins and dopamine. This feeling become addictive over time. When school is not going well or there are problems with relationships shopping solves the problem for some kids.
A shopping spree or frequent shopping does not always indicate a shopaholic. It is when someone spends more than they have running up credit cards they cannot pay or shops only to feel better emotionally it is a problem. Sometimes shopping causes conflicts in relationships and is used to feel in control. There are many reasons kids become compulsive shoppers.
Spending money on shopping when you should pay off your previous sprees or using money that should be for bills is a sign of addiction. The main problem of a shopping addiction is the financial problems that it creates. It can hurt personal relationships and cause problems at work or home.
Teens and college students with shopping addiction might go to the mall and spend hundreds of dollars on clothes, makeup, and jewelry. One teen Sarah Frank said she bought bags of merchandise when in college which made her feel elated. Often her roommates asked why she kept doing this? One time she spent $400 on a credit card she could not pay.
Her parents and roommates realized she was a shopaholic and she soon saw it in herself. She had hidden purchases and items noone knew anything about. The Schulman Center For Compulsive Theft, Spending and Hoarding says many shoppers do it to fill an emotional void. Those that suffer from an addiction or emotional issues are vulnerable to the shopaholic addiction.
Its important to find things to do to fill the void. Finding a hobby that interests you, joining a club, or exercising often helps. Some teens and college students join a gym, take up biking or running, join a drama club or even start a new hobby. Finding ways to use too much time to improve yourself is a better option than going on a shopping spree.
Often shoppers like Frank come to the realization that they are not just hurting themselves but others. For instance her parents would end up having to pay her bill when she over spent. They were working hard to put her through college and her overspending was hard on them. It showed a lack of concern for them.
Franks parents took away her credit cards so she was not able to use them for two years. She used the cards for school expenses and food. When she used the cards she had to tell her parents. She also attended ten sessions at The Shulman Center for Compulive Theft, Spending and Shopping. She had ten sessions which helped her sort out the root of the problem so she could tackle it. This helped her with her shopping addiction.
Over shopping with a shopaholic can lead to loss of space in the home with no place to put items. It can lead to loss of time spending countless hours in malls and stores buying merchandise you don’t need. In very severe cases it lead to health and sanitation problems where the buyer does not want to part with anything. It can cause embarrassment and loss of self esteem over time. The financial stress can lead to loss of concentration in a shopaholic. This is a fact.
The Internet has led to more shopping addictions because of how easy it is to make purchases with debit and credit cards. There are videos that urge teens to buy and equate buying with happiness in teens. It can lead to large credit card bills and and an empty bank account. This is one of the problems of shopping online.
Sometimes teens or college students order merchandise to find out that they already have it. One girl started at 10 years old and ended up with a job at a clothing store. She ended up spending most of her check on clothing and shoes.
Many think that shopping online can be similar to an addiction when it goes too far. Some studies have linked suicides in college student to debt causes by shopping addictions. It makes it too easy to purchase something without even leaving the house or college dorm. That is one one of the drawbacks in some cases.
Mobile phones that often teens and college students have or even tablets make it easier to shop from anywhere. They can be driving around and see a store or restaurant and order through a mobile device. This often leads to overspending and debt for many teen and college students. Many kids are addicted to the mobile phone and cannot go anywhere without them.
The shopaholic personality is often someone that wants to please others. They are dealing with emotional problems and shopping give them a high or interactions with other people. Shopaholics are often easily influenced by others. They may even buy gifts to please others hoping this will make others like them.
Often the shopping is compared to an addiction like gambling or substance abuse. Some shoppers may have more than one addiction. There is a quiz with a list of question on the Shoppers Anonymous site that shoppers can ask themselves to see if they may have a problem with shopping. This is the first step in dealing with the symptoms of the illness.
Most teens, college students, and adults like to go shopping. It becomes a problem when the buy more merchandise than they can afford. A woman works at a thrift store she buy a purse and has to go to the bank to deposit money to avoid a negative balance. This is a sign of a shopping addiction. Another woman has 100 pursues but has to buy just one more even though she just recently caught up with her rent problem.
Holidays are a hard time for compulsive shoppers with the message that buying gifts for everyone is giving. Often merchandise is on sale and this is when the shopper will go out and run up their credit cards. There is treatment for this problem once the person admits there is one. It is considered a mental disorder for some.
April Lane Beason a New York psychologist says that compulsive shopping often turns into hoarding. When the person fails to get rid of old items to replace the new ones this is when the problem begins. Some parents give presents instead of time and attention leading kids to grow up with emotional or financial hardships.
There are many programs that address compulsive shopping. Often counseling sessions are given approximately 10 or more. It is often recommended that the person attend with a friend or relative. Often sessions can be in person or over the phone depending on the situation. Often participation in a support groups is another aspect of treatment for the problem.
Other ways to treat the problem is to read books, or take medication if prescribed by a doctor. Find new ways to spend time like hobbies and enlist the help of friends to change your behavior. The Internet is cheap easy and addictive. It’s easy to get addicted to gambling and shopping both places are easy places to spend money.
Online shopping surpasses regular store sales. It is easy to purchase something online using a debit or credit card. You can do it from your home, work, or even on a phone when driving. The rise of cell phones and tablets makes it even more tempting and easy for consumers. Many shopping addicts shop on TV and the Internet. Over shopping is the same whether it is at the thrift store or a high end store.
The first step to find help for teens or college students is for them to admit they have a problem with shopping. They should not shop alone for awhile but with someone that knows about the problem. Steps might be to cancel or stop using credit cards until debt is paid off. You may need to stop using the Internet or put in a filters that stops you from going to certain websites.
Often over spenders ignore their credit card bill thinking they will eventually get a handle on the problem. This does not happen with high interest rates. They often do not pay enough on the bill but still keeping racking up the purchases. Credit cards helps students keep the pain of paying from the pleasure of buying.
Another point is students often have someone paying the bills for them when in high school or college. They often equated purchases as making them happier, getting them the relationships they wanted or popularity. Men as well as women can be shopaholics that overspend and like to accumulate merchandise. It is not gender specific.
Parents and caregivers should monitor what teens and college students spend when shopping. They should limit the amount ot money the hand over freely. This can often give the child a sense that money will always be available to them without working for it. When they see a problem they should make the child pay for the items. This often teaches them responsibility around money.
Debit and credit cards should only be given to student with a job that can pay the bill. A debit card is better than a credit card because you have to have money in the account to make a purchase. This teaches kids not to buy something they cannot afford. Shoppers Anonymous has a good program to help teens and college kids address compulsive shopping addictions.