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i'm really broke so i have no business shopping for anything unnecessarily, but i discovered tonight that i had a little bit of money in my paypal account. i was gonna transfer it to my checking account, but it wasnt that much, so instead i used some of it to upgrade my email account. i figured, what the heck, its not that much anyway, and isnt gonna get us out of any real debt, so what the heck? so i made the purchase and now im all giddy and excited and slightly hypo from the transaction. and just in time to go to bed. it figures.

i should be feeling guilty, yet here i am, all wound up ans slightly hypo. and now i want to go out and do more stupid shopping! fortunately, theres not that much more money left in the paypal sccount and its too late and too cold to go anywhere to go buy more stupid stuff. (even though we do have a 24 hour walmart 20 minutes away!)

anyway, whats up with the compulsion to buy unnecessary things and then when i do, why does ity get me all buzzy, like im high? it seems like such a simple thing and it shouldnt cause this much harm, but shessh... i am simply beside yself with excitement.

is it all part of the bipolar or am i just an idiot? and if its bp related, how can i control myself. i cant keep doing this. were already broke! *slappinmg myself upside the head!*

any suggestions, as i seem to have no self-control! HELP!!!!

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Shopping (or acquisition, or hunting, or gathering) is an inherently rewarding activity, much like gambling. Or sex. Or most addictive substances.

That reward loop (I do [this], I get a good feeling, it wears off, I really want to do more of [this]) is disrupted in manic states, and it results in a change in hedonic tone.

How do you avoid other harmful-yet-craved activities?

Some people find that if they wait out the 'itch' without scratching it, it will fade enough that they can function. Other people think that's about the stupidest damn thing they ever heard because they WILL scratch that itch. I don't know if that's a strategy that would work for you or not.

Sometimes substituting a different activity works.... and sometimes it bites you.

Getting away from the triggering area or thing is a good idea.

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please forgive my ignorance but what do you mean that 'this' is disrupted in manic states? what do you mean by it being disrupted.

waiting out the itch is a good idea but takes a LOT of willpower that i dont think (obviously by my purchase last night) i have within me. but i will try to heed this advice in the future. of course im out of money, in the bank account as well as the credit card being maxed out, so it shouldnt be too hard to heed!

anyway, please explain my first question above. sorry to be so dense. :) im blonde. thats my only excuse. oh yeh, and im a bit crazy! lol ;)

thanks in advance!

Shopping (or acquisition, or hunting, or gathering) is an inherently rewarding activity, much like gambling. Or sex. Or most addictive substances.

That reward loop (I do [this], I get a good feeling, it wears off, I really want to do more of [this]) is disrupted in manic states, and it results in a change in hedonic tone.

How do you avoid other harmful-yet-craved activities?

Some people find that if they wait out the 'itch' without scratching it, it will fade enough that they can function. Other people think that's about the stupidest damn thing they ever heard because they WILL scratch that itch. I don't know if that's a strategy that would work for you or not.

Sometimes substituting a different activity works.... and sometimes it bites you.

Getting away from the triggering area or thing is a good idea.

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Shopping releases the "happy" and "addictive" chemicals in your brain - so just like heroine, you want more. There are ways to learn to control this (I'm *still* learning, as I have the same problem - impulse control). I've been practicing new technicques in CBT - this has been the hardest one for me to overcome.

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heh. Y'all are right, it's very addictive. I have gone through shopping sprees like there was no tomorrow. Craft shopping sprees, book shopping sprees, clothes shopping sprees. And I've never had the extra money for them. Who needs food this month anyway?

The way I finally controlled it (and I know this isn't everyone's answer, but it worked for me)... I cut up my credit cards, my debit cards, shredded my checks, and disabled my online functions through my bank. Now I do everything on a cash-only basis, if it has to be paid by check or money order - I get a money order. I'm willing to pay that fee. With the exception of eBay... I buy and sell on eBay - but since the only time I have money in my PayPal account is when I actually sell something on eBay, then it's not often I get to buy something on eBay.

Anyway, working on a mostly cash-only basis curbs my spending tremendously because in order to buy something I have to have the cash in my grubby little hand. If I want to buy something online, I have to go through the process of printing out an order form, going to the bank to get the cash, getting a money order, etc... Yeah, that curtails the online spending. I find that if a business won't take cash or a money order for some reason, I really don't need whatever it is I wanted.

By making it harder to get to my money, I found it a lot easier to control the spending urge. And my life is much more peaceful for it. :-) Not to mention, I no longer have to find a way to get rid of the useless junk I buy on these manic spending sprees. Why oh why did I ever believe I needed 30 skeins of red and green yarn??? sigh

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My one is big supermarkets. Everything looks so colourful and yummy tasting. It's the only shopping place I feel safe in.

But yes it's another one of those "habits" that can take over your life especially with the whole impulse thing kicking in. Plus just before my period it gets bad - I think something is funky and then when I "come to" realise no it's terrible why on earth did I buy it! And what was going through my mind!

I'm working on the impulse one with my T at the moment but so far this is what I've come up

  • make a list and write on Stick to This
  • wear a rubber band on wrist and ping it when I feel the impulse kicking in
  • leave the shop if it gets too much
  • why do I feel the need to spend money - if it's to feel good again leave shop

And there's Patheral's advice too if it's getting out of hand.

Anyway I'm still looking for help with the whole impulse control thing too.

Hawk

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