Hi everyone. I am new to this group and joined since my ther

Hi everyone. I am new to this group and joined since my therapist recommended it. I have had a shopping problem since I got my first job at 18. I am 31 and since I am getting paid more I feel like it is getting worse. I have been with my partner for 7 years now and have 2 kids. We have been trying to buy a house since my daughter was born 4 years ago and I keep getting us behind due to my spending. We had to go to court to fight for custody of my son with his biological father and we got a lawyer and I took out a $5k loan but before we paid the lawyer I spent it all so we had to use my sons savings account. Since the pandemic I haven’t been working and have been spending like crazy with my unemployment money! I got into skincare and every month or so I have been buying things! I get this like itch to spend or when I’m bored I start looking stuff up online and purchase it without thinking. I have gotten to the point where I might loose my partner because I hide the spending from him and then he finds out. I think sometimes that maybe I spend because I am not confident in how I look or maybe it’s my bipolar, adhd, depression, or anxiety. Oh yeah I am all messed up in the head with my mental health.
Anyways wanted to release all my feelings with people who might understand.

Spending can soothe some people when they are anxious, depressed, sad...but it is temporary.  I would highly suggest getting rid of your credit cards or giving them to your partner if you want to leave things like rent, phone, electric and water on autopay.  Then go to a cash system or a debit card with a very low limit.  When you start feeling things, find ways to process without spending.  Follow therapists online or those with spending addictions, the wonderful thing about social media is that people share their issues and the things they have learned in therapy so you get to take what you learn and what they learn and form your treatment care plan.  

1 Heart

@CKBlossom My husbant takes care of our finances so he has access to all my accounts and knows when I spend. I only have 2 cc. 1 is at a clothing store and the other is from my bank. When I get my unemployment check he always has me transfer all the money to his account so I am left with little. But I still managed to be sneaky about it. What upsets me the most is that my 9yo has been picking it up also. He has been sneaky about watching tv when he isn’t supposed to or not going to bed when we tell him to, etc. I truly don’t want to be like this but when I get depressed I get anxiety and then I just fill the void with spending.

Hello, I agree with CKBlossom. Getting your partner more involved with your emotional spending is a great starting point. After 14 years of marriage, my husband has admitted to being emotionally absent during most of our marriage and has stepped up to help me deal with this issue. He has taken all high credit limit cards away leaving me with a small limit that would not damage our family if I have a setback in my process. The account is even linked to his email address so he receives all statements so I cannot hide them from him. I no longer have digital access to our bank accounts. I am still on the account though. After a month of me NOT doing ANY grocery shopping I have just recently started with some small trips. He has me make a grocery list. He reviews it to see what it on the list and removes things we are not completely out of (with exception of toilet paper). Then I take my coupons/list to the store and he matches it with my receipt when I get home. Obviously this is only the initial steps until it is no longer needed and I have effectively managed my anxieties in other methods. Right now if I am anxious, I exercise. Even if it is only for a walk outside. I am also in individual therapy, marriage therapy, and getting ready to start a support group for childhood sexual assault. Finding an actual in-person support group in my area for "shopping addiction" especially during COVID-19 was impossible so she recommended I go to the root concern of my emotional spending.

At the age of 8, I was sexually assaulted by a family member and diagnosed with PTSD. My current therapists have informed me that my emotional spending is very common among people with childhood trauma. I have 2 daughters, one who is about to reach the age in which I was sexually assaulted. For the past 2-3 years, my anxiety levels have been at an all time high and my spending was out of control. The thing I like about discussion boards and support groups is it forces me to see that I am not the only one who has a childhood trauma or emotional spending. I hope you too can find the support you need.

@ropho I don’t have a problem with the groceries so he doesn’t need to control that. It’s the other stuff, like at target for example. I go there for something and end up buying $80 worth of stuff. Honestly, my therapist mentioned in-person support groups but they actually freak me out. I for some reason prefer online. Also, I have 2 kids and am busy so in person is hard to go to unless they are late in the evening or preferably on the weekends. I am glad you found exercise as a coping mechanism. I have never been able to find my thing and that is what I have always struggled with. a few months into covid I was going crazy being a stay-at-home mom for the first time while my husband worked and he advised me to get a hobby. you know so many people said they learned something new during the lockdown, but I am still the same person. I can’t find my thing. trust me I have tried. I even got stuff to create a scrapbook with my kid’s pictures and I have only worked on it once since I got the scrapbook supplies a year ago! I guess tv is my coping or reading romance. I get to forget about life for a bit and get consumed in something else but we know that being a couch potato is very unhealthy!
I am so sorry for what you went through. If you don’t mind me asking. How did you and your therapist come to the conclusion that that was the issue? I mean I see my therapist also but we have never really tried to figure out the root of my problems. he is a talk therapist. I have been wanting to switch but I am tired of wanting to explain everything all over again. IDK.