Although few people admit to having a shopping addiction, a recent Oxygen Media Survey indicates that “32 percent” of the people surveyed stated that they knew someone who was addicted to shopping. Signs of Compulsive Buying Disorder, otherwise known as Oniomania, include constant money concerns, buying on credit, and purchasing impulsively or when shopping is driven by an emotion. Shopping addicts feel a sense of pleasure from buying, but the initial “high” from making a purchase is usually followed by a “low” feeling of depression or shame.

The American public is constantly bombarded with sales advertisements and enticements to shop, so a shopping addiction may not be perceived as a dangerous or harmful addiction that needs treatment. After all, shopping is a socially acceptable behavior.

Oxygen Media’s new television program “My Shopping Addiction”, which premieres on October 15, 2012, brings the seriousness of shopping addictions to the attention of viewers. People with shopping addictions spend compulsively, and sometimes purchase items they do not need or use. Shopping addicts perceive shopping as a way to alleviate stress, reduce boredom or improve a depressed mood. The show gives viewers an inside look of what life is like for the shopping addicts who are profiled on the show.

The show will bring to the forefront the reality that obsessive shopping can damage relationships, promote stress and lead to debt. Shopping addicts may find themselves hiding purchases, trying to justify purchases, or lying about them.

If you or someone you know is addicted to shopping, help is available. Jessica Getson, a licensed counselor serving the Main Line Philadelphia area, can help recognize situations and moods that trigger your desire to shop. You can learn how to identify your shopping impulses, and cope with them. Learn strategies to refocus your life on other activities, so you can curb your shopping addiction. You will develop a more positive attitude and enjoy life more fully.