How to Treat a Credit Card Addiction

Credit card addiction can develop as a result of compulsive shopping and spending, and it is just as dangerous as alcohol or drug addiction because it can mask the emotional toll of depression, anxiety, and/or loneliness. It can have devastating effects on an individual or a family because of the financial ramifications of using your credit card excessively, as well as the subsequent money woes that can ruin marriages and careers.

Steps

1. First, determine whether you have a shopping addiction.

When your purchases become inappropriate, excessive, or out of control, you have a shopping addiction.

A lack of impulse control is the root cause of shopping addiction.

Shopping addictions frequently produce feelings of euphoria or euphoria. This occurs when endorphins and dopamine in the body are released, which can reinforce the behaviour because addicts want to return to that state or feeling.

Other warning signs include exceeding your budget, compulsive buying, if the problem persists over time, hiding the problem, purchasing and then returning items out of guilt, or if the problem is interfering with your relationships.

2. Determine whether the problem has progressed to the point of credit card addiction.

Examine your credit card usage. Do you use credit cards for the majority of your purchases?

Are you only making the bare minimum on your credit cards?

Are you keeping your credit card bill a secret from your partner?

Are you juggling your credit card balances and interest rates in order to extend the time you have to pay?

Do you have a habit of buying something and then returning it? You buy them on the spur of the moment, only to realise when you get home that you can’t afford them. The guilt then compels you to return them.

Do you go shopping when you’re feeling down?

Have you tried and failed to stop your compulsive spending?

3. Consider your treatment options.

Consider personal therapy on a one-on-one basis. This is the most expensive option, but a counsellor can help you address your impulse control issues and provide alternative suggestions for when you feel the urges.

Consider joining a support group. Debtors Anonymous is a support group that was formed to assist people in recovering from compulsive debt issues.

Seek financial advice. This step should and can be combined with other treatment methods, especially if you have a large amount of credit card debt. Knowing how to properly begin making payments can help alleviate fears and serve as a starting point for healing wounds within families caused by debt and deception.

4. Take additional steps toward your recovery on a personal level. To rebuild your credit, keep your credit card balances under 10% of your credit limit.

5. When you go shopping, make a list and only buy what you need and what is on the list.

6. Get rid of the majority of your credit cards. Keep one to use for an emergency only.

7. Window shop only after the stores have closed for the day, and if you must do so while they are open, leave your wallet at home.

8. Avoid the shopping networks on television.

9. Create a substitute behavior for when the urges hit you. Think about going for a walk or exercising instead.

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