Having a compulsive buying disorder can seriously impact a person 's life. Luckily, it is treatable, though.
Definition and Facts
A compulsive buying disorder is a disease in which a person has an overwhelming urge to buy things on a regular basis that they don 't really need. It is comparable to an extreme form of irresponsible spending. The person with the disorder has no control over how much, or how often, that they shop. The purchases that they make are for their family members, friends, or themselves, even when they don 't want anything. The shopping often goes hand-in-hand with hoarding since the amount of possessions quickly adds up. But sometimes, when a person with the disorder is trying to hide the fact that they have a problem, they might try to conceal all of their purchases from their loved ones or lie about how much they spent on them. Their credit cards and receipts are usually kept hidden away too.
Symptoms and Complaints
The most obvious symptom of this disorder is the constant urge to buy more things. However, there are also other signs that there is a problem even before the spending gets out of hand. People who have this disorder don 't just shop occasionally. They are obsessed with shopping all of the time. It is all that they talk about or think about. That is because this disorder is similar to an addiction for the people who have it. The areas of the brain that are responsible for pleasure light up when they buy something. It creates a sudden surge of euphoria that is similar to the high that drug users feel. But afterwards, there is always a drop in mood levels when the reality of what they have done settles in. The person will feel guilty, sad, and ashamed. So to feel better, they will buy...
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...ess or hurting others financially.
Prevention and Prophylaxis
Unfortunately, there is very little that can be done to prevent someone from getting this disorder because it is genetic. But if someone has a family member that is affected by it, they should be very cautious in the way that they feel when they go shopping. If they begin to notice that they tend to buy things when they feel down or anxious, then it is best that they get help as quickly as possible before the situation gets any further out of hand. Anxiety and depression are also genetic, so by getting treatment for these disorders, the likeliness of having a compulsive buying disorder can also be reduced. Since it starts in early adulthood, parents should be sure to take special notice of their children who are at risk, and offer responsible financial guidance or take them to counseling if it is needed.
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