We seem to be at a turning point in our culture in terms of dealing with addictions and mental health with greater understanding. We realize that people who are addicted to something cannot simply stop. It is easy to say “just say no,” but far more complicated to deal with the root cause of an addiction. Addiction to something is usually calming some kind of unbearable anxiety or depression we may feel. It is easy for someone without an addiction to say “they should just stop,” or “why can’t they control that?” When dealing with mental health issues of any nature, we need more understanding and more sympathy towards others. If it was simple then we would all be healed of any mental health issues. This brings me to the title of this post, spending addiction.
We are obviously complex creatures and I recently listened to an amazing podcast about shopping addiction. If you are interested in this topic please listen to the podcast “Dear Sugars – Buyer’s Remorse”. The hosts do a fascinating interview with the writer of Friday Night Lights, Mr. Buzz Kissinger, who literally had an addiction to shopping for leather products. This was no joke, obviously the gentlemen had some deep issues to deal with and he sought professional help and medication. He is now talking about the issue openly and candidly in an effort to help others. Please do not take this as silly, it almost ruined this man’s life and I bet shopping addiction does great damage to millions. It is not something people can just stop. There is a deeper root cause to this uncontrollable behavior that should be examined.
Shopping addiction seems to be linked to self soothing behavior to deal with OCD, anxiety, depression etc. Professional help may be able to assist someone with these issues. I wanted to write about this to expand awareness and explore a different aspect of spending behavior that can be very serious and damaging. Please check out the podcast mentioned.
I would like to add one more thing to this discussion. Making the issue worse is the fact that all of us are prey to retailers. This is not anti-capitalist or anything, but we must have awareness that there are huge campaigns in place to convince you that you are inadequate until you buy specific products, clothes, makeup, cars, shoes, and on and on and on…My main point is to cultivate awareness. At least when you make a specific purchase, know why you are doing it. Know if it is a need or a want. Are you trying to feel better about yourself? Are you trying to impress someone? Why?
- As always this is meant as general information. If you or someone you know has this problem, seek professional help.