Shopping Addiction

From hitting the mall with your friends on weekends, to holiday spending on gifts that go under the tree, shopping could be called someone’s full time job even. Giving in to the occasional impulse buy is normal. After all, the majority of people enjoy shopping. The problem occurs when you or someone you know has succumbed to obsessive shopping.

Most of the people take shopping as buying new clothes for work or a small trinket for a friend. For others, however, shopping is much more than an enjoyable pastime, and in some cases, it is a real and destructive addiction that can turn into a financial disaster.

Overspending and compulsive buying can be defined as inappropriate, excessive and out of control phenomenon like we see in other addictions. Impulsiveness is the key feature, basically lack of control over ones impulses lead towards damages. “shopoholism” shopping addiction can wreak havoc on a person’s life, family, relationships, physical and mental health and finances. “Shopping, done to excess, can spin out of control and lead to bigger problems, spoiling rather than enhancing your quality of life. The more you use shopping as an attempt to fill an inner void, manage your feelings, repair your mood, or pursue a ‘perfect’ image, the more likely it is that you need to take a closer look at what this behavior is costing you. At times you start using shopping as a defense mechanism against your negative emotion or feeling. You can get temporarily escape from you problems but at the end of the day they still exist. And what makes you more miserable is their existence.

Shopaholics get some kind of high when they buy something, it means that endorphins and dopamines, naturally occurring opiate receptor sites in the brain, they get switched on and the person starts feeling elated. Once they feel good, their behavior will automatically reinforce and they will fall prey to the trap of addiction. When it happens to you, a negative change in your spending habits is quite noticeable. For instance, you are likely tempted to dash off to the mall to buy items you don’t really need. You will feel buying new things every day, no matter you need them or not, this is something in your head, which constantly keep you focusing on buying stuff.

Ruling out normal buying behavior is very important. Some people’s leisure time is often spent on shopping, if they spend a lot of time in shopping does not necessarily mean a shopping addiction.  Shopping sprees are also common among people who have recently acquired a large inheritance or won a significant sum of money. As such, the apparent impulsive buying done by these people does not necessarily constitute an addiction to shopping.  The situation will be alarming when you start seeing dysfunctionality in different areas of your life.  There can be several reasons for getting into compulsive shopping, e.g emotional deprivation in childhood, Inability to tolerate negative feelings, pain, loneliness, boredom, depression, fear, anger,  need to fill an inner emptiness and longing inside, pleasure seeking,  Approval seeking , low self-esteem perfectionism, genuinely impulsive and compulsive and  need to gain control.

Gadget Addiction

Science has provided the mankind with the ground-breaking and technological mechanisms the gadgets which are a part of everyone’s life these days. From cell phones to hi-tech televisions, from multimedia gaming sets to music players everything is a gadget and had carried the world just inside one’s pocket. Innovation in technology and communication has produced numerous gadgets. Every other second a new gadget is being launched in the consumer bazaar.   People have now reached to a point where they cannot live without these fancy gadgets. This eventually results in gadget addiction. This addiction has become a grave issue in the world especially among the adolescence.

Gadget addiction can be defined as take pleasure in a particular activity very much such as laptops, Play Station and I pod and spending a lot of time doing it.   Today, it is tricky to visualize a contemporary teenager without a mobile phone or any other gadgets. The perturbing research found that 97 per cent of teenagers from 11 to 16-year-olds possess a mobile phone. Gadget addiction is reason by the wish to get more freedom and the desirability of the gadget applications. Consequently, this addiction may cause detrimental lifestyle among teenagers and influence their academic performance.

The cell phones particularly the smart-phones have play a ground-breaking role in the life of people particularly teenage. Phone has become a necessity these days on the other hand it has the whole thing at just a few keys away. Networking, email, movies, games, music, internet and even calling, everything is just a matter of a few clicks. Every other child is a gadget addict. The teenagers these days are smarter than their parents, they do not involve in social gatherings but social networking, they do not go outside in parks to play but have the play stations and video games, they do not have human friends but gadgets and most amusingly they do not have hobbies or habits but, addiction.

You may find this amusing and laugh about it. Though, it’s true. Psychologists divulge, individuals that spend late hours with gadgets everyday are unable to differentiate between emotion in the computer world and emotion in reality. Researches and surveys taken in different countries disclose more than 70% of people carry their desired devices along on vacations. This establishes that bulk of the people around the world cannot live without their favorite gadgets. If you feel fidgety without your favorite appliance, it’s a symbol you are addicted. People at every phase of their lives are now too much exposed to technological devices. iPads are shamelessly used to look after or soothe disorderly children from as young as 4 years old. Its easy-to-use and appealing, entertaining while very engaging applications draw the attention of these little users, who respond with the need of a regular feed of entertainment all the time. Try taking these gadgets away from the kid and you’ll know what I’m trying to say here. These gadgets are now classified as a toy for this reason.

Now, if we see this situation to a decade from now. You see adults sitting around a table in a Wi-Fi-enabled café. Odds are they are not going to be communicating to each other, maybe through virtual world though. Due to a lack of communication at home, fights and problems will occur a lot more often between husband and wife, and it’s not gonna get any healthier when this generation has kids of their own.

Regardless of the depressing outlook painted in this article, I’m certain that the technology that keeps us linked to the Internet has done much betterment for our lives. Nonetheless, do keep in mind that who is in control and than act like it. When your gadgets are consuming too much of your life, you should know it’s high time to switch it off and take pleasure in life unplugged.

Workaholism

Workaholism can be defined as a condition where individuals experience an emotionally crippling compulsion to work, which is usually driven by the need to either gain approval or the public recognition of success. People who can be classified as workaholics tend to have a myopic fixation with an ambitious objective or accomplishment. They jump from one assignment to another and trying to meet their self- imposed demands. In this effort, they lose sight of their ability to regulate their work habits and tend to overindulge in their work. They dwell excessively on work related issues and bring them home with themselves as well. This comes at the expense of other social activities and has detrimental consequences on their physical and emotional wellbeing.

It is unfortunate that this form of addiction has not received its due share of attention owing to the fact that its seriousness is often underestimated. The gravity of the problem is not comprehended mainly because it takes a comparatively lesser emotional and physical toll on people than a disorder such as drug addiction does. However, a compulsive pattern of behavior towards work can also cause dysfunctionalities in personal, occupational and social domains, much like substance addiction. Another reason why the issue of workaholic has failed to capture attention as a serious problem is because it is slightly difficult to differentiate between a genuine compulsion to overwork and a passion towards one’s occupation. The lines between the two can appear blurry, but it is usually the far reaching dysfunctionality caused by an unhealthy compulsion to work that serves as the differentiating factor. While a hard worker manages to strike a healthy balance between his work and personal responsibilities, the workaholic remains caught up in the struggle to achieve one accomplishment after another. This causes the workaholic to be emotionally absent towards his friends and family while having negative repercussions for his social life as well. If the problem is not addressed in a timely manner, workaholism can lead towards the development of more serious physical and psychological ailments.

In view of the hazards that accompany the problem of compulsive overworking, it is imperative to look at it as a serious issue that demands structured psychological intervention. Treatment for workaholism firstly addresses the ambivalence that surrounds their problem. This is usually because they can simultaneously find reasons for both changing their behaviors and persisting with them. Much like the treatment of other forms of addictive behaviors, it is crucial to raise the problem awareness of the workaholics. They need to be made aware of the deep seated consequences that have been brought on by their addictive tendency towards work. The realization can help them work towards achieving a balance between their personal and professional lives. As people suffering from the problem of workaholism tend to neglect the importance of relaxation and socialization, proactively incorporating activities in their life that allow time for them, serves as another effective means of defeating their addiction. It allows them to reconnect with an important part of their lives that they had been overlooking. The treatment strategies that we adopt for dealing with workaholism usually focuses on the following principles:

  • Improving the workaholic’s awareness regarding his problem in order to facilitate the therapeutic process.
  • Focusing on establishing realistic and attainable goals rather than chasing lofty objectives.
  • Emphasizing directly on the behavior of engaging in excessive work apart from addressing the consequences brought on by it.
  • Introducing alternative activities in the client’s routine that allow time for relaxation.