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Shopaholic – Compulsive Shopping

What Is a Shopaholic, Compulsive Shopping?

Shopaholic also known as Compulsive Buying Disorder can be recognised with an obsession with shopping, plus the buying behaviours that go with purchasing.

Shopping can lift ones mood and make you feel good. The name for this is shop thearapy. It triggers feel good responses in your brain. For most of us, it’s something we can enjoy, but some people maybe vulnerable to forming addictions to the habbit.

It goes beyond the feel good, which is a part of the disorder, and can become an obsessive compulsive disorder or impulse control disorder.

The roots of this disorder can stem from past childhood experiences resulting in low self worth/esteem or for a need to be in control. To learn more about the causes, check out Wikipedia’s Compulsive Buying Disorder


Interview With A Shopaholics Husband

Hello, thanks for joining us and sharing your life.  I know the questions maybe be difficult for you, so I appreciate you sharing your experiences with us.

Q~~ When did you first notice your wife had shopping issues?

A~~ When my kids refused to go shopping with us anymore.


Q~~How much time do you spend  shopping?

A~~ We shop every week, but it’s the weekends that take up most of the time.


Q~~And is this both weekend days?

A~~Yes.  It starts on Friday, we get paid, then we shop at stores to get simple items, that can take up to 2 hours.


Q~~So your weekend shopping starts on Friday night?

A~~Friday Afternoon.


Q~~How many stores would you visit on a weekend?

A~~Friday 2-3 stores, Saturday 5-6 stores, Sunday 4-5 stores.  Some of the stores we’ve visited, 2 days before but in different locations, in different towns.


Q~~When you shop do you stick to a budget?

A~~She has everything written out on how much money she will spend at every store.


Q~~Does she have the items written out too?

A~~Yes! Everything is written down.  But sometimes she might buy something random, but usually it’s on the list.


Q~~When you’re not shopping, how much time is she spending preparing to shop, example, making her lists?

A~~Thursday evenings, then over the weekend the lists get adjusted.

Shop With Sales


Q~~Do you got shopping other days of the week?

A~~Yes, to pick up things we might need.


Q~~So your shopping only for groceries/home items?

A~~Yes, unless a holiday or birthday comes along.


Q~~When a holiday or birthday come along, do your shopping hours increase?

A~~Yes, it depends on the occasion.  Christmas and birthdays are torcher.


Q~~Does your wife ever buy things you don’t need?

A~~Yes, she stocks up on things.  Canned products, soaps, washing powders, sodas.  Every week, even when we have plenty in the cupboards.


Q~~How much time does it take to choose the brands from the items on the list?

A~~Depends on the item.  Paper towels can take between 5-15 minutes to choose the right one.  It has to have a certain design.


Q~~So a plain white paper towel won’t do?

A~~NO! Plan white paper towels can only be used in certain parts of the house.  Designed ones must be used in the kitchen and the bathroom.  Tissues, if they are not in a short fat box she won’t buy them.  It may take 10 minutes to find one with a pattern she likes.  Washing powder has to be a certain brand.  It has to be the right size or she will get upset.


Q~~Has your wife’s shopping addiction got you into debt?

A~~Yes, because we use to shop on the credit cards.  I am working three jobs to pay off the debts.  When I’m not working, we’re out shopping.


Q~~What makes you think your wife has a shopping addiction?

A~~Because she won’t let anybody else do the shopping for her.  I have asked her to let me pick up items but if I do, she complains I never buy the “right” thing.   We spend 5-6 hours a day shopping, not just one day, but 3-4.  Sometimes we get home at 10pm.  There was also one time, I had been in a car accident.  After spending a day in hospital, with  cracked bones and battered and bruised body.  I was told to rest for a week.  She got mad because I would not take her shopping.  She said to me, “next time, you have to be dying to get out of the shopping”.


Q~~How is your shopping experiences different from other people you know?

A~~People tell me they can’t believe we go shopping this long, as they spend 2 hours a week doing grocery shopping.

Mannequins In The City Shop


Q~~Have you told your wife you do not wish to go shopping anymore?

A~~Yes, a few times and her response is, “if you do not go, then I am not going and we will not have any food. I am not just shopping for myself, I am shopping for you too”.


Q~~Thank you for your time and telling us your story.

A~~You’re welcome


A shopaholic may pull other people into their addiction, for justification.  If somebody is supporting them with their addiction, then they do not feel they have a problem.

If you can relate to this story, then please leave a comment below and tell us about your experiences.

It may help somebody, or at the least, help us to understand this condition.



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