I've always had a shopping addiction, especially related to clothes.
In college, I would order packages every week and walk all the way across campus to the mail center, and it would be so excited to carry that package home, try on the clothes I'd ordered from Forever 21, just bask in that rush of dopamine. Then I would add those clothes to my bulging closet, probably wear them once or twice - never getting the same joy as when I first tried them on. I would have to buy more clothes to get that feeling again.
Everywhere I've lived, before long I get the nickname of "the girl who gets SO many packages." Previous landlords have asked me if I'm running a side business. I used to check delivery trackers and run home to grab packages from the front porch and hide them in my room so my roommate wouldn't see. At one point I set up my packages to be shipped to a UPS store, but then the people at the front desk would make comments - "oh, you again." I found a new UPS branch. Eventually they got used to my habits too.
When I'm feeling down, I go on Poshmark and browse, liking lots of different used clothes listings. It's an awesome way to keep my mind busy while I'm trying to watch a movie or work. Then I get a "rush" when I get a notification that a listing I liked has sent me a lower offer. Then I fake-ponder for a few hours until I can't stop thinking about the item, and rush back to purchase it. Some days I get 3-4 packages - yay! - and I can't even remember what's in them - Santa!
I have a lot of pretty clothes, but the irony is I spend most of my time wearing pajamas. Not even the cute pajamas I've bought, but the old shirts from work events I got for free. My house is so messy, just filled with THINGS I've bought. I look around and I say, why am I like this?? I don't want to be broke/in debt/overwhelmed with clutter.
WHAT I'VE TRIED:
I've had so many interventions - with myself, with my mom who has bailed me out (hello privilege), with my friends - I've had friends who want me to text them every time I felt the urge to buy something (I will at first, and then my shame and impulses overcome me and I stop). I've sat down and made budgets for myself. I've taken out so many personal loans. I've tried to occupy myself with non-online shopping browsing when I'm really bored - looking at real estate or researching movies or vacation destinations. I'll give myself a month where I'm not allowed to buy any new clothes. I've talked to my therapist about it. I've cancelled my Amazon account.
I'm afraid I'm going to keep on this cycle, racking up debt and clutter, for the rest of my life, and I hate it. I want so much to change but I feel like I have tried EVERYTHING.
The day I got diagnosed with ADHD, I went, "oh, that makes a lot of sense" and immediately went to Target and spent $300 on random pillows and swim coverups.
I can feel myself putting a lot of hope into medication, thinking maybe that will reduce my shopping impulses. Adderall just made my depression worse (see previous post), and I'm already on Prozac, but I still get depressed sometimes and shopping is a quick pick-me-up. There's definitely a correlation between being depressed and shopping. But it's frustrating that after so much therapy, and antidepressants (and I will say my experience on Prozac has been very positive), I still have the same habit.
The thing about knowing about my ADHD is, it does make SO much sense. I can literally feel the dopamine as I'm shoving items into my cart, at the store or online. If I had more dopamine, would I feel the need to have this behavior? Is it addiction? Is it simply an impulse problem?
My friend recently said to me that she didn't understand why I have this problem, because I'm so "responsible" and "logical" and I have a budget. I know perfectly well that this dress doesn't fit into my budget, but I'll buy it anyways. If I'm so reasonable, then why can't I just stop?