The Bejeezus Out of Me

Startling behavioral science.

Retail Therapy: Is Shopping the Best Medicine?

Compulsive shopping has acquired a fancy medical name, and by some is considered a bona fide psychological disorder. But is all "retail therapy" by definition compulsive? And when it's not, can it actually boost mood and feelings of self control? Read More

shopping as therapy

totally get that 1) it getting out and 2) making choices could be very beneficial. even more so when the choices are to buy life sustaining or encouraging items (food, books, music, art or craft supplies, soap, health care items, sort supplies, new clothes that are actually needed, etc).

in those circumstances I have found shopping has helped me to regain positive energy/ get my feet back on the ground.

but it's a slippery and steep slope for someone with an addictive personality (moi). in the long run, while not in a good frame of mind (pre a lot of work with a wonderful therapist) shopping, after kicking hard drugs decades ago, became my new drug. 20 years after kicking chemical dependency I began a 10 year battle to understand and kick the shopping addiction. happy to say I managed to finally get ahead of it as I built different (healthy) paths to feeling good, feeling in control, being basically happy.

so it seems like a very complicated area to me. but it can absolutely be as healthy/helpful as the decision to get out of bed when terribly depressed.

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Rebecca Coffey is a science journalist and broadcast commentator with Vermont Public Radio. 


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