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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Addicted To Shopping?

 Are you addicted to shopping?

According to the dictionary addiction means:-

1. Being abnormally tolerant to and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit forming (especially alcohol and narcotic drugs).

2. An abnormally strong craving.

3. (Roman Law) a formal award by a court sentence of a thing or person to another (as of a debtor to his creditor), a surrender to a master; "under Roman law, addiction was the justification for slavery".

The Chinese have a saying about heroin 'You begin chasing the dragon but then it jumps on your back and begins chasing you'. Jackie Pullinger, the British woman who set up a ministry in Hong Kong , wrote a book about her experiences there in 'Chasing the Dragon'.Want to get PAID for shopping? Click Here!

This expression relates to smoking heroin, but it could be applied for all mood altering drugs, alcohol, painkillers, tranquillisers, speed, solvents, LSD, cocaine, heroin, crack, ecstasy, barbiturates, and cannabis. It can apply to adrenalin based addictions like gambling, sex, shopping, people (co-dependency) and eating disorders.

Addiction doesn't just happen. There is a progression towards chemical dependency, or any other addiction. It passes through four main stages.

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1. Experimental Stage of Addiction

The Experimental Stage could happen out of curiosity or peer pressure. The user may say "I'll just try it I don't have to use it again" The user may experience pleasure or mood swings. The outcome may be intoxication or being stoned, or a 'rush' of some sort. Many who experiment with drugs do not progress to the next stage of addiction.

This may start in early teens (sometimes younger) with trying alcohol, cigarettes or cannabis. It is easy to get high because of the body's low tolerance. Often done with their peers away from a parent or guardian. It may be seen as acting grown up, or a simple act of rebellion.

2. The Recreational Stage of Addiction

During the recreational stage the user may use at the weekends with friends, just to unwind from a stressful week. Looking for relief. Tolerance increases and more substances may be used, amphetamines (speed), larger quantities of alcohol. Symptoms may include stopping out late, suffering hangovers.

The user is by now starting to plan for use. Waiting for the weekend to be with friends, but also risk taking may increase by smoking on the way to school. Starting to lie about how much, and what is being used. Parents may react at this stage by grounding their child.

3. The Early Dependency Stage

During this stage, the regular user becomes an abuser. Now maintaining an addictive lifestyle that starts to affect others. The young user may be missing school and stealing money to feed the habit. Older users may be struggling to keep their job and running up debts. There is a daily preoccupation to source drugs and this often leads to meeting dealers.
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4. The Full Dependency Stage

During this stage of addiction, there is a self destructive and compulsive desire to escape to oblivion, or escape from reality. Sobriety is too difficult to face. If left untreated, the addict may now face despair and risks premature death through overdose, suicide, accidents or side effects. Many end up with legal problems, imprisonment and family breakdown.

Addiction causes two main problems, a chemical (or an adrenalin) dependency problem, and a lifestyle problem. These are explored within the framework of other articles. Has addiction faced you or your family?

Well did you know.....

Shopping addiction is a disorder that our culture has largely seen fit to smile upon. Feelings of emptiness, low self-esteem, insecurity, boredom, loneliness--or the pursuit of ideal image--can lead people to shopping addictions. But managing these feelings and mood states by becoming a shopaholic can have extremely serious consequences and significantly erode quality of life. Coupon

Individual therapy for shopaholics runs the gamut from traditional psychodynamic psychotherapy, with an almost exclusive focus on the underlying dynamics within a historical context, to a very strict focus on the here and now of the problem, with little attention to underlying dynamics. Most people suffering from a shopping addiction need the addition of other specific tools for changing the behavior, including a shopping diary and a spending plan. Some people will need to participate in Debtors Anonymous or group therapy for shopaholics, and/or have counseling specifically geared toward shopping addiction. This is particularly likely if the individual therapist has little experience with the tools of shopping addiction counseling.

Group therapy for shopaholics has been reported since the late 1980s. At least five different forms of group therapy have been utilized with this population.

Couples therapy for shopaholics is an extremely important treatment modality, because couples act as a financial unit and generally blend income as well as spending. Money issues are an intrinsic part of marriage and are often a source of intense and pervasive friction that can seep into other aspects of the relationship. Couples therapy is indicated when the shopping addiction can't be dealt with adequately on an individual basis.

Counseling for shopaholics targets the specific problem and creates an action plan to stop the behavior. Targeted counseling for this problem alters the negative actions of compulsive shopping and concurrently works toward healing the underlying emotions, although less emphasis is placed on exploring the emotional significance of the shopping addiction than in traditional individual psychotherapy. The major premise of counseling for shopaholics is the idea that insight alone will not stop the behavior. All stages in the shopping addiction cycle must be identified: the triggers, the feelings, the dysfunctional thoughts, the behaviors, the consequences of the behavior, as well as the meaning of the shopping addiction. Creating and using a spending plan is a cornerstone of shopping addiction counseling.

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Debtors Anonymous (D.A.) can be a powerful tool in recovery from shopping addiction, especially for shopaholics who have problems with debt. D.A. sees debting as a disease similar to alcoholism that can be cured with solvency, which means abstinence from any new debt. Since individuals are trying to control their lives with addictive debting, D.A. offers a regimented program of surrender and recovery, a program with a spiritual emphasis. Individual debtors work through the steps of the program with a sponsor, a more experienced member of the group, using newly acquired tools in conjunction with the steps.

Simplicity circles can be a helpful support to shopaholics, although the shopping addiction problems are not dealt with as directly as in the various therapies for shopping addiction or Debtors Anonymous. What simplicity circles do have to offer is a forum: a place to gather with others to discuss personal transformation and the satisfactions of living a simpler life. The caring atmosphere and the discussion of how to create a more fulfilling life is a healthy way to meet some of the principal needs that a shopaholic seeks to meet in shopping.

Shopping addiction
treatment is still very much in a formative stage. Society, advertising, and the media all conspire against the cultivation of true wealth, which cannot be quantified in a financial balance sheet but must instead be felt and sensed: self-esteem, family, friendships, a sense of community, health, education, creative pursuits, communion with nature. It is inner poverty, both emotional and spiritual, that is at the core of most shopping addictions. The acquisition of truth wealth is crucial to recovery.

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