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August 13, 2016

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Confessions of a Shopaholic

By EPPY GOCHANGCO

Sophia is applying the final touches of makeup on her face and feels good about it. This is one activity she knows she is good at. She even helps friends put makeup on because she feels they appreciate this gesture very much. They tell her she’s good at this.

Today, she’s made sure that she really looks nice because she will be going out with her friends to shop. Her friends have told her that they want her with them when they go out shopping because she gives the best advice on things to buy.

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(Happy Skin’s newest item for eyebrows that are always on point: Bullseye Perfect Brow Trio)

She is on her way to her car when she suddenly realizes that her credit card is not with her. She goes back to the house and retrieves her card from her room. Smiling, she says to herself, “We can’t leave home without you, can we?”

At the mall she meets Janet and Vivian. They laugh and giggle, excited to shop. Sophia makes sure she does everything slowly and methodically. Janet and Vivian are laughing as they watch Sophia, “professionally shop,” as they would call it.

Janet and Vivian know that shopping is fun, but only when they have the money to buy things. They are amazed that Sophia would actually spend so much on shopping. They admire her and wish they could have as much money as she does.

Tod's SS16 Wave Bag (1)

(That Tod’s purse sure is lovely, but is it worth the possible black hole of bills you might ring up?)

They don’t know that Sophia is in so much debt. She owes money, not only from one person, but from a lot of people. Everyday, she gets text messages and emails from people she owes money from. Her parents have helped her once before to pay her debts. They don’t know that she is in debt again. But Sophia is used to accumulating debts. All this comes from shopping.

Sophia is one of many individuals who can’t stop shopping. It is a form of addiction. Instead of taking drugs, alcohol or gambling, she is addicted to shopping. For Sophia, the impulse to shop is so strong that it sometimes pains her to stop herself.

This is what makes her different from Janet and Vivian. They can stop shopping when they want to and they can shop anytime. Sophia can’t do this; stopping takes an effort and she will do anything to be able to buy something.

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(Swiss watchmaker Technomarine’s new two tone Cruise Jellyfish collection)

When a person can’t control his impulse to buy something and has accumulated debts beyond the amount of what he can afford, chances are, this person is addicted to shopping. Usually, anyone who shops uncontrollably has personal problems that they are not aware of. These people need help and need to see a professional to resolve issues. Only then will the impulsive shopping stop.

Sophia goes home and goes straight to her room. She saw to it that she wasn’t seen by anyone at home. She feels guilty because of the amount she had to pay to buy things that she did not really need. She sits on one corner of her bed and starts crying. She has been thinking of seeking professional help for six months now.

But today is different. She realizes that she can’t continue buying things because she can’t let her parents help her all the time. She now acknowledges that there is something wrong and she must do something about it.

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(“But it’s a limited edition bag, I don’t want to miss out” you say, as you reason out with yourself right before making a new purchase. Only, brands will always have new limited editions from new collaborations; what will you be telling yourself then?)

No one can really identify a person who is addicted to shopping. It would be difficult to find certain mannerisms or behavior to actually say a person has a shopping problem.

Looking at Sophia, no one will ever know that she has a problem. She is the only one who knows there is a problem. Her parents and siblings will only know she has a problem when people would call on the phone or knock on the door asking for Sophia’s whereabouts.

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(Chanel’s Lèvres Scintillantes in three shades: brilliant pink Pinctada, bright red Babiole, mother-of-pearl-like Clarté)

Sophia dials the phone number of the psychotherapist her friend recommended to her. She hears the lady on the other side of the line and says, “My name is Sophia, I would like to make an appointment. I am a shopaholic…”

People with addiction problems usually deny the problem. They will sometimes notice that some events indicate that there is something wrong. After a while, they start thinking about letting go of a certain behavior. And one day, they realize that their behavior must change.

Sophia is on her way to change because she realizes that her behavior is not healthy. Being aware that she has a problem solves half of it.

 

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