Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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St. Joseph's Care Group

Addictions & Mental Health

Addiction Treatment for Shopping/Overspending

What is it?

Many people run into problems when they realize they have spent too much for the month, when the bill comes. Those people who spend habitually, however, often do it to fulfill a void in their lives, to deal with stress, or to help them ease depression or anxiety. This spending behavior causes problems in relationships, finances, emotional and physical health and more. These types of problematic spending might look like this:

  • Shopping to distract from feelings “I shop when I’m stressed and I always feel better.”
  • Goal oriented shopping - finding that perfect outfit or accessory to distract from feelings
  • Trying to maintain a “wealthy” image ie. always picking up the tab with friends, expense clothes, home decorations/renovations
  • Hunting for the best deals and buying even when you don’t need things, things pile up at home.
  • Shopping for others, buying presents to gain affection or approval
  • Collecting many different items distracts focus and attention from stress or depression
Save or Spend
Save or Spend
Should I be concerned about my spending habits?

Shopaholics (Spenders) Anonymous suggests that you ask yourself the following questions if you are wondering about your own overspending. If you answer “yes” to many of these questions, you may need help to make some positive changes.

Overspending Questionnaire
Overspending Questionnaire
  • Do you shop when you feel angry or disappointed?
  • Has overspending created problems in your life?
  • Do you have conflicts with loved ones about your need to shop?
  • While shopping, do you feel euphoric rushes or anxiety?
  • After shopping, do you feel like you have just finished doing something wild or dangerous?
  • After shopping, do you ever feel guilty or embarrassed about what you have done?
  • Do you frequently buy things that you never end up using or wearing?
  • Do you think about money almost all the time?

If you would like to begin to make changes, please contact us.


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