Shopping Addiction


For many the visit to a shopping outlet or the high street can be a pleasurable event, especially so when combined with family or friends. For the majority who are busy and hard at work during the week, the opportunity to go on a shopping spree hunting for bargains is a great way of unwinding from the stresses and strains of everyday life. However, for some, what should be an enjoyable and harmless form of activity has grown into an addiction that they seem to be unable to control. In time, if left to develop, it will soon put their personal relationships, their mental health and financial well-being at risk.

It is conservatively estimated that shopping addiction effects hundreds of thousands of adults in varying degrees in the UK. Recent research suggests that the problem has reached epidemic proportions in America with approximately 18 million adults believed to suffer with some form of shopping addiction. The pressure placed on family budgets as a result of addiction is a common cause of marital problems and divorce.

As with all addictions they often start as a fairly harmless activity to relieve stress, boredom or some other worry in our life’s journey. However, in common with most other forms of addiction, the addict soon discovers that the journey in pursuit of the addiction is often more enjoyable than the final act of indulgence. This very same cycle applies to shopping, as it is the hunting for the bargain which is the shoppers most pleasurable time and not the actual acquisition of the so called bargain. It is during the period of heightened excitement that the brain releases the pleasure drug known as dopamine which causes us to experience feelings of euphoria and it is this feeling which drives us to repeat the event again and again which gives us feelings of happiness and pleasure. However once the desired item is purchased many report experiencing an overwhelming feeling of melancholy followed by regret as the so called emotion of buyer’s remorse sets in. In time the shopping addict even finds that those initial highs experienced in the early days fail to hit the pleasure button as their habit escalates, leaving them more in state of permanent depression or a low prevailing mood.

Here at Addictions Away, we specialise in providing effective and lasting therapy designed to free our clients from their destructive addictive habits. Many forms of addiction often have their roots set in significant past events such as a physical or mental trauma. We employ a variety of therapeutic techniques designed to help identify these underlying causes which allows us to utilise the most appropriate form of therapy tailored to meet the unique needs of each client. Throughout the entire journey to recovery our fully qualified and registered therapist works closely with the client to ensure that the best possible outcome is achieved. We offer confidential on-line and in person therapy services regulated by The British Standards Authority provided at one of our therapy suites located throughout North Wales and Cheshire. 

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