This article is a follow-up to “Shopping Addiction Is Just As Serious As Any Other Addiction And What You Can Do About It” published here on 16 May 2020. It discusses the current medical treatments and psychological strategies that can be used to deal with Oniomania.
- Introduction – Does A Cure Exist?
- Types of Therapies
- Non-Medical Treatments
- Last Word
1. Introduction – Does A Cure Exist?
According to the article entitled “Shopping Addiction Treatment Program Options” by psychguides.com, there is no cure because “Addiction isn’t an acute illness like chicken pox. Rather, shopping addiction is a lifelong issue that affects the patient’s motivational priorities; however, it can be effectively treated and managed.” (i)
2. Types of Therapies
These therapies are used to modify the addicts’ behavior using various techniques.
a. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) (ii)
This is a general type of talk therapy (aka psychotherapy) where a mental health counsellor (psychotherapist or therapist) works with the addict through regulated lessons over a fixed number of sessions. CBT helps the patient to realize erroneous or negative reasoning so that he/she can react to demanding circumstances effectively. According to the Mayo Clinic, this is the preferred treatment because it allows you to rapidly recognize and handle particular challenges and as a result, requires fewer sittings than other types of therapy.
“It is useful in tackling emotional challenges that may require you to:
- Manage symptoms of mental illness
- Prevent a relapse of mental illness symptoms
- Treat a mental illness when medications aren’t a good option
- Learn techniques for coping with stressful life situations
- Identify ways to manage emotions
- Resolve relationship conflicts and learn better ways to communicate
- Cope with grief or loss
- Overcome emotional trauma related to abuse or violence
- Cope with a medical illness
- Manage chronic physical symptoms
Mental health disorders that may improve with CBT include:
- Anxiety disorders
- Sleep disorders
- Eating disorders
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Substance use disorders
- Bipolar disorders
- Sexual disorders”
b. Other Therapeutic Treatments (iii)
This may require changing the core framework of CBT to allow for several patients to attend a session with one or more therapists and by doing so, allows the addicts to know that they are not alone in suffering from this addiction.
Here, the patient is isolated in a controlled setting where he/she is free from any external influences and stressors. In addition, his/her health is scrutinized during the early phases of treatment. Such an environment allows the patient to focus on the treatment and healing process.
Such facilities aim to decrease the stress on the patient for having to be checked into a treatment institution by providing luxurious amenities like golf, spa, etc..
e. Executive Shopping Addiction Programs (vi)
These allow patients who require close attention to be guided via remote supervision as they are not able to attend a normal face-to-face therapy session. Often these programs are tailored toward the constraints of each individual.
f. Outpatient Shopping Addiction Rehab and Treatment Programs (vii)
These are treatment centers that allow patients to come for regular care sessions on a daily or weekly basis and/or for the dispensing of medication.
g. Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications (viii)
These are recommended by the doctor during the important phase of the treatment to relieve tension and help the patient sleep better at night. Focus is on helping the patient deal with the psychological effects of retreating from shopping addiction.
3. Non-Medical Treatments
Here are six tips on how to rein in your shopping addiction without going for counseling and/or taking medication:
a. Always use cash to pay for your purchases
By doing this, it makes you more aware of how much money you are spending every time you make a purchase. You not only have a visual but also a physical connection to the amount of cash you are holding in your hands.
b. Record your purchases and total up your spending
If you make an effort to record in a notebook every time you buy something and tally up the total, then after a while, you may find it cumbersome to do this. In addition, by seeing the actual amount of money you have spent so far on shopping may scare you to reduce your shopping.
c. Don’t bring your credit card
This is related to point (a) above because if you don’t bring your credit card and every time you need to pay in cash, you would most likely think twice before making a purchase.
d. Do not sign up for emails that promote sales
This is so that you can stop yourself from being informed of any sales or promotions from your regular shops.
e. Remove any shopping apps from your phone
This will reduce the temptation for you to open the shopping apps to look for promotions and also compel you to go to the physical store should you need to buy something.
f. Show your family or friends your purchases
After making a purchase, always show it to your family or friends who are aware of your shopping addiction. This is because upon seeing the purchases, they may ask you hard questions like “Why did you buy this?”, “Do you really need it?”, “Was it on sale?” and “How much did you pay for it?”. Such questions will force you to think long and hard on whether the purchase was really required.
4. Last Word
Shopping Addiction requires you to take a long and hard look at yourself in terms of what you want versus what you need. Addicts need to accept the fact that they have a problem and that this condition needs consistent and regular treatment over a prolonged period of time.
(i) and (iii) to (viii)