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Hello! I'm Kirsten and I've found myself here because I am literally at my wit's end! I cannot stop shopping at all. Every paycheck I get I'm lucky if I have any money a week later. I always sit down and make these budget plans, but they always go right out the window. I think when it first started I wanted to kind of feel like I was making up for things that my mom couldn't buy because we really didn't have much money at all. It was my mom trying to support herself and two children. Now, it doesn't seem like it's about that at all when I'm mad, depressed, or just don't feel good I shop and I feel so relieved. Like if I have an arguement with someone and then I order something online the stress is gone. When the money starts running low or I run out then I just feel so much regret and sadness. It feels to me like I am physically incapable of saving money I can't keep it myself and I can't keep it in the bank because I end up spending it. I've tried having my mom hold it but I find it and take money from it to buy things. I used to self injure myself but I haven't done it for 2 years, but this is the same feeling that I got from it. The relief and later the guilt. I'm only 20 years old and I can't afford to drive or go back to school because of all the money that I spend. It's gotten to the point where I don't know what to do anymore.

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Kirsten,

I want to strongly urge you to enter psychotherapy for your addiction. One of the common causes of the kind of shopping you are doing is depression and its accompanying self esteem. It can feel so good to make purchases. The problem is that the "good feeling" does not last, sometimes only until you get home, and more shopping needs to be done.

Sometimes this type of addictive behavior has to do with difficulty controlling impulses. That is more common than you may think. Sometimes, there is a combination of factors causing addictive behavior.

In the meantime, until you begin psychotherapy, try to find other and healthier ways to distract your attention when you do not feel so good or when you feel an impulse or wish to shop. For example, call a friend, start a journal and write in it, go out jogging or running, etc.

I want to encourage everyone to write in about this issue. I suspect that Kirsten needs a lot of support about this.


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Hi all

To me it sounds like you could have border line BPD. (Bipolar Disorder). That is one of the things that happens to me. I get so depressed that I go out and spend, money that I haven't got!

At the time I alway's think, stuff it! I'm sick of feeling like this, so I go out and blow a load of money on my Visa/master card, then to top it off, I usually go for a bite to eat, and end up having not 1 or 2 but a good few bottles of wine, getting out of my face! And end up, waking up in a Police Cell the following morning. Not remembering how I got there in the first place?

You've guessed it, with nothing that I'd purchased the previous day on my credit card? Which makes me more depressed than ever, because I've not even got anything to show for my spending?

Then, because I've got Bipolar Disorder, I start being a nasty cow to every one I speak to. Not intentually! It's just trying to control the Bipolar Disorder, but when this happen's there's nothing anyone can do to help you! The anger and FEAR! and I'll state FEAR! that is trapped inside you, you've got to get it out and it's unfortunate whoever gets in your way! Because it's them who usually take the blunt of it!

As some people on this site could let you know. Following one of my episodes, But I did appologise, when I'd calmed down a few day's later. Again, I was just fortunate that these people who was involved, did understand about my Illness, and its drawbacks! And thankfully for me, there was no permanent damage caused!

I would strongly reccomend that you see a Psychiatrist before this lot gets out of hand.

Good luck!

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Thanks you guys for sharing your insight! I guess I also forgot to add that I work at a Wal-mart which makes this a million times harder because I'm in a store for 8 hours a day 5 days a week, and that's not counting my days off when I go there to shop. Which really seems to make things that much harder. Today while I was working I noticed how much I browsed and noted things that I wanted to buy, just random things that I don't even need. I'm going to try this out tomorrow, but my psychologist that I saw while I was in high school would have me wear a rubber band and snap it whenever I thought about cutting. I'm going to see if snapping a rubber band when I think about shopping and buying things will help me be more aware. I'm also thinking of keeping a notebook and writing down how much I spend everyday and maybe seeing that will help too. I'm trying to check out my options for help in my area, I can tell you now that the options are very limited in the town that I am in so I will probably have to go a little further. My shopping has just been so out of control ever since I've stopped cutting, and I think that I'm slightly comforted beacuse of the fact that I feel the same feelings that I did with cutting but I don't have to deal with the physical scars. Even today when I was trying to be aware of how much I was spending and thinking about shopping I still ended up spending a good bit of money today. It's like I have to spend it all too or as much as possible if I have 20 cents then I will go buy ramen which is like 14 cents so that I'm down to 6.

I would be in serious trouble if my credit card had a limit greater than $300 I'm glad they didn't trust me with more money...I know I wouldn't

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Hello, I agree with Kay's post.

Might I add to perhaps list your strengths and focus on them. I heard somewhere that when you get a job review, not to focus on your weaknesses like the review does, but to focus on your strengths. Personally, I try and focus on what I do have instead of what I do not.

Yes I, too, have had spending problems in the past and that is the only way for me to not have a problem with spending. I try and appreciate what I do have. I've made a list, and it made me realize that I did not appreciate what I had, and perhaps did not even use some of what I had.

Try this: when you go shopping, or you are at work and are thinking of what to buy, replace that thought with something you already have. Works for me! YMMV....

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Thanks, yeah I'm working on finding a doctor, but it's going to be rough with gas prices, and the fact that I never have any money because I spend it all! I think I get what you're saying Wintersky like there is this candle at work that I want, but now I'm sitting here telling myself about 2 other candles I have that have never even been lit, and it does make me not want to buy the other candle so much.

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Hi kristen

I understand what you are talking about and struggle with this too, I actually didn't realize that I was starting to have a issue until latly I don't work rate now I stay home with my baby but early in the day I feel lost and with nothing really to do so I go out and shop get coffee and unfortunatly buy stuff I don't have money for I feel down about it and know it is not something I should be doing but almost everyday I go. I get bored and need something to distract me or make me feel something other. I do struggle with impulsiveness and mostly don't SI anymore My Dr said about the impulse issue but didn't suggest how to help it. I do notice when I feel down or mad I just want to blow all my money on everything I've been thinking about like 100's of dollars I am trying to maintain myself and not do it but sometimes I just want to say * it! I too need to control this stuff but thing can be tempting and it is hard. Wish you too the best and hopefully we can get a handle on it. take care;)

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