Is there a shopaholic in you?

2010-05-23 13:29

Uncontrollable shopping habits have finally been linked to lack of


Dr Lee Hartman, a clinical psychologist, says: “The person could be

yearning for self-fulfilment, but instead of looking for it on the inside they

look at external materialistic objects to fill the void.”

She says “shopping” in this context includes everything you spend

money on, no matter how big or small the price of the item.

If you are not sure whether your shopping habits are healthy,

answer the following questions:

»?Do you go shopping

impulsively when in a bad mood?

»?Do you feel tension or

arousal urging you to shop?

»?Do you feel a sense of

relief or get pleasure while spending money?

»?Do you buy more items than

you originally wanted to?

»?Do you often spend more than

you can afford to pay, leaving you under frequent financial strain?

»?Do you feel bad or regret

purchasing the items?

»?Do you buy just for the sake

of having something even when you don’t need it or will never use it?

»?Are there items you have

kept in your home unpacked or hidden from the rest of the family or


»?Do you get into fights with

your spouse, family or friends over lying about your shopping habits?

»?Do you have retail store

cards, credit cards, loans or overdrafts that you have exhausted from


If you answered “yes” to three or more of the above questions, you

should consider seeking professional help.

A psychologist or psychiatrist can help assess your condition and

confirm if it is impulsive control disorder. This situation could be the result

of a combination of other disorders such as depression.

If unsure, call the South African Depression and Anxiety Group on

toll-free number 0800-70-80-90 or on 011-262-6396 between 8am and 8pm.

To get a counsellor to call you back, send a text message to 31393

or visit the website for more information.


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