Tag Archives: compulsive shopping

My Shopping Addiction – Season 1 Ep. 2 — Anna

I absolutely love this show… sorry it was on for only one season! I’m going to discuss two of my favorite shopping addicts.

Anna is another that I can relate to. She laughs self-consciously, and laughing and smiling is my first reaction to so many things but just because I’m uncomfortable or nervous. Below shes laughing at the fact that she’s storing her clothes in a bookcase.


I died when she said that she would dream about items that she didn’t purchase. Not only do I dream, I begin to obsess. I cant stop thinking about whatever it is until I make it mine. Unlike Anna, though I will return if whatever it is doesn’t work for me. Even that was fairly recent for me… I used to trash things that didnt work and I didnt have to do that. Makes me cringe when I think about it.

She also kinda smirked and said “oops!” when she said she was still shopping although she was in a lawsuit with her landlord. I know most people think that’s irresponsible, but if you don’t have a shopping addiction you’ll have a difficult time understanding that reaction. It nCaptureever meant court or eviction to me, but at times it did mean car repairs or maintenance suffered, or something else. I mean, I knew it was serious but it would have seemed silly in a way to have a serious reaction when I knew I should stop shopping — but didn’t.

As far as returning stuff goes its a lot easier when you don’t shop in person. Just drop it in the mail (usually for free) and wait for the credit back on your card.



I have to admit that there are portions of the show that seem “fake” or scripted, but it seems like certain things were prearranged (like the “are you sure you want to return it?”) in the scene below where Anna is at Purdy Girl returning what she just bought.


I think it was meant to place additional pressure on them to reconsider. Of course Anna is laughing through this… it must have been super stressful for her.


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MTV True Life I’m a Compulsive Shopper Ali Owen & Gabriela Schwartz

I have to admit that I don’t watch True Life very often, but from the episodes that I have watched, the compulsive shopper episode is my favorite. If you haven’t yet seen it, you can view it here.

It’s tempting to rake them over the coals for their addiction, and I’m a bit surprised at exactly how concerned over fashion that Gabby is, but it’s not just teenagers with a clothes addiction that have this sort of problem! I’ve read blogs that have called both of them shallow, but how is what they do any different from expensive cars and houses? No, they cannot afford spending at the level that they do, but apparently many people in this economy couldn’t as evidenced by the numerous people that lost their homes. What’s the difference between accruing credit card debt to buy things you cannot afford and buying a home you can’t afford? I realize that’s not the entirety of the problem with the mortgage industry crisis, but it’s a chunk of it.

I could relate to Ali more than Gabby because Gabby felt she didn’t have a problem. Ali knows that her debt and spending is taking her in a direction she didn’t want to go. I could SO relate to the emotions that she expressed about spending. She mentioned that it helped to alleviate hostility when she would go out and spend. It did exactly the same thing for me too. I just felt an overwhelming relief after I would spend that would be carried over when I would get home with my purchases. The problem is that it wouldn’t last long.

I could also relate to her midnight CVS runs! Even haircare, skincare and makeup purchases can relieve a little stress. Yes, I know the feeling well.

I’ve watched this episode many times, and I find Ali’s shopping and story to be triggering to my own spending issues, but I like it. How messed up is that?

Virtually everything that she expresses about shopping is relateable within my own “addiction”. When Alicia comes out of the mall with the two bags and talks about what she purchased and how she has a “weight off of” her shoulders, I just thought about how many times I would get back from shopping and feel that way. As an interesting side note, online shopping is not as satisfying! There is something about walking through the mall and handling merchandise. I’m convinced that it’s the shopping addicts of the world that will keep what malls we have left open. Shopping online is convenient, but it doesn’t carry equal satisfaction.

Ali and Gabby are/were (the show aired in July 2009) representative of a lot more of the population in the U.S. than we probably care to admit. I’m not a superficial person. I care about what is going on in this world. I’ve been somewhat of an activist on issues that were important to me. I’m not of the belief that someone has to sacrifice in service to all as a part of their life. People have a right to live for themselves. It’s not a matter of either/or, but of striking a balance. We got a glimpse into one aspect of their lives. It’s not fair to call them superficial because they aren’t sending their extra dollars to feed and help educate the poor in Africa.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned as a result of my spending is that it’s better to spend on experiences than it is to spend on things. Have good friends and good times. Worth more than all the clothes and accessories in the world.

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