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Shopping Addiction
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Shop ‘til you drop?  Many people have taken that mantra to the max! Research related to us by the Department of Health Science at Indiana University reveals that what used to be considered a funny joke is no laughing matter. The addiction to shopping can be a very real problem for many people.

Being a “shopaholic” has many of the same “earmarks” as addicitons to gambling, overeating, and alcohol. It’s more complex than many may have ever realized, and it holds it’s subjects captive in its clutches in much the same way. Addictive shopping can occur when the person who struggles with it feels lonely, angry, or depressed about something. The “acting out” is often followed by feelings of being “out of control” and extreme despondency.

Some shopaholics go on sales “binges” while others only seem to be triggered by the holiday season and all of its emotional highs and lows. Although treatment for this disorder goes far beyond the scope of a short article, there are some things that those who suffer can do to help themselves. If you struggle with this compulsive disorder, here are a few tips to get you headed in the right direction:

1. Seek professional help – Looking for a competent professional counselor is not something to be ashamed of. Life isn’t easy, and we all need assistance in being the best that we can be. Contact a local credit counseling agency and ask if they can give you a referral.

2. Bring strong-willed friends with you when you shop – The power to say “no” is not always within your grasp when you suffer from this disorder. Bring along  friends who possess a strong emotional “back-bone.” Give them permission to help you make good decisions. Talk about your situation ahead of time and build a simple system for them to follow when it appears that you may be about to fall to the temptation of  “acting out.”

3. Don’t watch T.V. shopping networks – Most of these channels are only interested in one thing….selling you items that you don’t need. If you can’t stop watching and buying, remove the television from your home. It’s only feeding your addiction. There is life beyond the T.V. set.

4. Freeze your credit cards…literally – Put your credit cards in a large bowl of  colored water (so you can’t see them) and put them in the freezer. When you are tempted to purchase something that you don’t need, go home and let the bowl of ice thaw while you call a supportive friend about the situation. The chances are good that by the time your bowl of ice containing the cards has thawed, you will have had a good opportunity to change your mind about the purchase that you really didn’t need.

5. Pray – God understands our struggles and wants to hear what we have to say. Take your situation to the Creator and ask for the help and strength you need to conquer this addiction.

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By Michael Temple. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the THE MESSAGE / REMIX ®.

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