Identifying a shopping addiction is not always easy, whether you are the person with the compulsive shopping problem or it is a friend or family member that you care about. There are some signs that can show a shopping addiction may be an issue though. If you recognize these signs in yourself or in those that you care about then help for compulsive shopping should be sought as soon as possible. The signs and symptoms of a shopping addiction usually includes:
- Spending more than your budget allows- If someone has a shopping addiction or compulsive shopping is a problem then a budget is not used when deciding on whether to make a purchase. The individual who is addicted will spend more than they can afford.
- Compulsive shopping- This is shopping that is done even when you do not need the items purchased. A lack of self control and the impulse to buy something right now are common with shopping addiction, because the feel good emotions are caused by the purchase.
- Hiding purchases- Someone with a drug or alcohol addiction will hide the substances that are being abused, and someone with a shopping addiction will often hide the things that they have purchased to avoid any questions or explanations about when the items were purchased or how much the individual spent while they engaged in compulsive shopping.
- Lying about spending and shopping habits- A shopping addiction can cause feelings of guilt and shame, just like substance abuse. The individual with the problem may lie about when they shopped, what they purchased, and how much they spent in order to avoid questions or arguments.