Terrence Shulman is a counselor who works with people suffering from a number of compulsive behaviors related to over-shopping or overspending, from shoplifting addictions to hoarding disorders. Founder of the Shulman Center in Southfield, Mich., Shulman was featured on “Nightline.”
This questionnaire was taken from Shulman’s book, “Bought Out and $pent: Recovery from Compulsive $hopping and $pending.” Answer the following with a YES or NO response and see how you did at the end.
- Have you ever lost time from work or school due to shopping/spending?
- Has shopping/spending ever created problems in your relationships?
- Has shopping/spending ever affected your reputation or people’s opinion of you?
- Have you ever felt guilt, shame, or remorse after shopping/spending?
- Did you ever shoplift or steal from work to get money to pay debts or to solve money issues?
- Did shopping/spending ever cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
- Did you ever experience a “high” or “rush” of excitement when you shop or spend?
- Have you ever shopped/spent to escape worries?
- Has shopping/spending caused you to have difficulty eating or sleeping?
- Do arguments, disappointments, or frustrations create an urge to shop or spend?
- Have you noticed you begin shopping or spending more frequently over time?
- Have you considered self-destruction or suicide as a result of your shopping or spending?
- Upon stopping over-shopping or overspending did you continue to be tempted/preoccupied by it?
- Have you kept your shopping/spending a secret from most of those you are close to?
- Have you told yourself “this is my last time” and still over-shopped or overspent again?
- Have you continued to shop or spend despite having been had legal issues such as bankruptcy or divorce?
- Do you often feel angry or feel a need for control?
- Do you have feelings of life being unfair?
- Do you have persistent feelings of entitlement to get or buy what you want?
- Do you have trouble speaking up for yourself, asking for help, or saying “no”?
How many questions did you say yes to?
Most compulsive shoppers/spenders will answer YES to at least SEVEN of these questions. Debtors Anonymous and professional counseling should be recommended for compulsive shoppers/spenders.
Watch ABC News’ Cecilia Vega’s “Nightline” report about how one woman’s compulsive shopping landed her in jail and with $50,000 worth of credit card debt.