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ARISE® Compulsive Shopping, Spending and Hoarding Intervention

Compulsive shopping, spending, and hoarding – is a compulsion like other process addictions (such as sex addiction, gambling, gaming addiction, Internet addiction, and addiction to food). It originates, like other addictions, from trauma, loss and/or abuse that expresses itself as an unmet emotional need. For many, buying items, spending money, and holding on to objects can provide temporary relief from the feelings of distress. They provide the Person of Concern with a sense of identity and self esteem, or fill a void that they are often not even aware of. Often these behaviors result in a cycle of impulse and regret very difficult to break.

These three addictions – shopping, spending, and hoarding – are often interrelated with one another as each habit can seamlessly feed into the other.

Those suffering from Compulsive Shopping, Compulsive Spending, or Compulsive Hoarding are usually secretive about their personal time and spending habits. This is typically driven by guilt and shame, the hallmarks of addiction. The Person of Concern can become withdrawn, suffer from anxiety, depression, and shame. Some will show signs of intense perfectionism and others obsessive/compulsive behaviors.

Those with compulsive disorders can face severe consequences including job loss, financial hardship and loss of relationships. Since this particular addiction can require such seclusion and secrecy, the Person of Concern may pull away from loved ones and responsibilities in order to continue with their addiction.

It is possible to live a normal, happy life free from the cycles of shopping, spending and hoarding, and your loved one does not have to reach rock bottom to enter recovery. Our Certified ARISE® Interventionists can work with you when you realize that there is a problem (your “bottom”), rather than waiting for your loved one to “hit bottom.”

Compulsive Shopping & Spending

Compulsive shopping & spending, also knowing as compulsive-buying disorder (CBD), is said to impact as many as 6% of the American population.

In today’s society many people associate material goods with happiness, the rush of buying a new home, a new car, or a cute new outfit makes us feel good. For those suffering from a compulsive shopping and spending disorder they feel that a new purchase could change their standing in society, or their outlook on life – just one more purchase could fill that void

A person suffering from a compulsive-shopping/spending disorder will often feel the compulsion to purchase, regardless of the product. The desire to shop is usually the most intense when battling strong, negative emotions and thoughts.

When buying becomes essential to the Person of Concerns happiness and the shopper is spending beyond their means, serious financial consequences can occur. Compulsive shopping is closely related to compulsive spending as it is the urge to spend money, whether or not the funds are available to be spent.

Research shows that the thrill from shopping and spending is similar to the high of a person addicted to drugs as it stimulates the same areas of the brain.

In today’s world of online shopping and credit cards, compulsive shopping can result in mountains of debt. This can be devastating not only to the individual but also to the family as a whole.

Compulsive Hoarding

Compulsive Hoarding – often a result of compulsive shopping/spending, is the consistent inability to part with objects. Even in the face of unhealthy living conditions, separation from loved ones and friends, or legal troubles, a person struggling with a Compulsive Hoarding Disorder is unable to stop collecting objects regardless of actual value.

Commonly collected objects include newspapers, pets, boxes, children’s toys, furniture, trash, plastic bags, and receipts.

If your loved one is struggling with Compulsive Hoarding, their home is the biggest indicator. The amount of items in the home will greatly surpass that of the average home.

Compulsive hoarding (also knowing as hoarding disorder) is characterized by great anxiety at the thought of throwing something away or releasing ownership in any way. It can be challenging for the Person of Concern to get organized and he or she may express anger or suspicion if it is suspected someone is stealing or throwing things away from their home. Observable behaviors may also include stress and despair at their current living situation, not allowing anyone into their home, reluctance to return borrowed items, and their home being cluttered to the point where many parts are inaccessible and can no longer be used for intended purposes. As with any other addiction, insight is minimal, and just asking the Person of Concern to stop, is not going to be effective. Professional help is imperative for healing of the problem. As with any other addiction, there are always underlying factors that need to be uncovered and dealt with. The individual and the family need to understand the disease, its origin, and what is needed for long-term recovery and health for all.

You Are NOT Alone

One woman whose family called us for help had reached the stage where navigating her small apartment through her overwhelming collection had resulted in multiple fractured bones, and a head injury with concussion. At the time that we were called, she was in total denial and had no idea that she, and her family needed help.

Yet another call came from the son of an elderly man whose basement collection of over 10 years’ of newspapers had caught fire from a failing light bulb and resulted in his losing his home. During the process of ARISE® Continuing Care, it became apparent that his hoarding had started following the death of his beloved wife.

If you are concerned for a loved one, you are NOT alone, and it is not to late to get help for you loved one and your family.

Recovery is Possible

Our dedicated Certified ARISE® Interventionists can help your loved one get the help they need to take the necessary steps towards a sustainable healthy lifestyle.

Those closest to the person struggling with a Compulsive Shopping, Spending, or Hoarding disorder are the first to recognize the need for help – your loved one does NOT have to hit rock bottom for you to reach out.

If your loved one appears to be unable to stop shopping, spending or collecting despite negative consequences, an ARISE® Shopping/Spending or Hoarding Intervention can be an effective way to get your loved one and your family the help they need to recover. ARISE® gets over 83% of individuals into treatment within 3 weeks and 96% into treatment within 6 months.

Your Certified ARISE® Interventionist will help you select a treatment facility and additional professionals to best suit the needs of your loved one, and to help you and your family learn to help them, as well as doing whatever is needed for your own self-care.

Over the next six to twelve months following treatment, your Certified ARISE® Interventionist will continue working with you and your family, the treatment facility, and other treating professionals to determine the appropriate next steps for the next phase of their recovery. If needed, the contract can be extended as long as is it needed.

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