You have a closet full of clothes with tags on them
You don’t have to be adorned in new garb every day to be a shopaholic. In fact, it’s pretty common for a compulsive shopper to have items that sit unopened or with tags still attached—things that you’re “saving” for when you really need them, explains April Lane Benson, PhD, a psychologist who specializes in the treatment of compulsive buying disorder. For women, these purchases often include clothing, jewelry, shoes, and accessories; men tend to buy bigger-ticket items like watches, cameras, and sports equipment, she adds. Check out the sneaky ways stores trick you into spending more money.
You can’t go a day or two without buying something for yourself
Even small purchases—like new lipstick (in the same shade you already have) or thank-you notes to add to the pile you’ve stocked away in a drawer—can signal problem shopping if they happen chronically. That’s because these unnecessary transactions, though small, demonstrate a lack of control when it comes to spending. “There are the big binge shoppers, and then there are the shoppers who are spending money where it’s a death by 1,000 cuts—in other words, no individual purchase is bad, but it adds up,” Art Markman, PhD, professor of psychology and marketing at the University of Texas at Austin, and author of Smart Change: Five Tools To Create New and Sustainable Habits in Yourself and Others, told Yahoo Health. Here are habits of people who are good at saving money.
You experience “shopper’s high”
Shopping addiction is fueled by a powerful cycle of emotions—and this includes that sense of exhilaration or “high” after making a purchase that can become addictive. Shopping releases the brain chemical dopamine, which is associated with feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. Dopamine also plays a big role in drug abuse as well as other addictive behaviors like gambling. Some people even experience a sexual feeling during the act of shopping, according to researchers in World Psychiatry. Here are other signs you could be helped by therapy.