Is There Hope For Shopaholics?


How Do You Rehabilitate Shopping Addiction?

Shopping addiction or “oniomania” is a condition in which people have an uncontrollable urge to purchase objects without any regard for their buying power or the purpose of owning the items in the first place. The addiction may not necessarily be a behavioral disorder, but that is except in cases where it happens alongside other existing problems such as mood disorders or substance abuse.

Oniomania has a seemingly harmless characteristic compared to other, more severe clinical conditions. As such, people who have it are often in a state of denial. You have to, therefore, pay close attention to the signs and causes of shopping addiction and how to arrest it before it’s too late.

“Oniomania is another word for the urge to shop till you drop, habit of the debit, thrill of the bill. According to a pearl of ancient wisdom, we don’t acquire things, things acquire us. In the case of oniomaniacs, it is perhaps the fun of acquiring things that acquires them.”  –Anu Garg

What causes shopping addiction happen?

Studies have revealed that shopping addiction seems to be hereditary. Stress triggers compound it in a person’s life such as family or relationship problems, work issues, and physical/health conditions. What makes this addiction all the more challenging is people often have a difficult time distinguishing between a persistent buying compulsion and an occasional shopping spree that tends to be justified by a perceived need to acquire something. Perhaps two clear and primary indications of shopping addiction would be:

  • Incurring a significant amount of bills at the expense of giving priority to your more essential expenses. 
  • Accumulating unnecessary items that leave your home all cluttered.

How do you cure shopping addiction?

Like any other addiction, shopping addiction can be addressed. However, the victim has to admit that they have a problem without “ifs” and “buts.” Realistically, addiction has no foolproof cure like that one used for physical ailments such as measles or flu. Nonetheless, it can be treated with the cooperation of the addict and the help of professionals and science.

Nowadays, treatment methods have been on the rise to treat ‘shopaholics.’  Therapy is the name of the game, and certain approaches are being employed that have been proven to work.

One-on-One Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


It is believed that this form of treatment is the classic and most effective way of helping the shopping addict recover from the condition. It consists of one-on-one sessions with a therapist, usually at weekly intervals.

The meetings are structured to allow the patient to graduate from one step to another. The treatment does usually not involve any drug or invasive procedure. Rather, it gives the person the opportunity to practice better control in the treatment process.

 Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The structure of the therapy session is the same. However, this time, the patient will join other patients and therapists for more group interactions and sharing. The advantage of this method is that patient realizes that there are others with the same condition. Therefore, it eases feelings of guilt and embarrassment.

Inpatient Treatment

The patient is admitted to a rehab facility to isolate him/her temporarily from the outside world. In the controlled environment, structured activities and programs are employed. It’s much like what happens in treatment facilities for substance abuse patients.

Luxury Inpatient Centers


This alternative uses a less clinical approach and provides a more comfortable living environment. As such, it eliminates the notion of being confined in a treatment clinic. As these centers cost more, the amenities they provide are unlike those of traditional rehab facilities. More recreational activities are offered such as golf, horseback riding, and other luxuries.

Outpatient Program

Perhaps you are too busy to leave home and check into a facility. If so, then the outpatient treatment program may be your best option. Besides going to the center for your regular sessions and perhaps obtaining medications, the program also enables the therapist to meet you to see your progress.


For acute cases, physicians may prescribe certain over-the-counter medications to arrest your condition. The medicines do not serve to cure your addiction. Rather, they help support the withdrawal symptoms that you may experience during treatment. These medications include Diazepam, Alprazolam, Oxazepam, and Clonazepam.

Be more conscious and sensitive to the signs of shopping addiction. While it may not directly affect your physical well-being, it can pose a serious threat to your financial situation if left undetected.

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