Tag Archives: Disorders

Down the depression rabbit hole

I’m not in a good space right now. The positive spin on this is that I know rough times foster the need for change, the need to do and act differently, to challenge the status quo and cross over into a better situation. That’s apparently where I am – on the pathway to something better.

Despite knowing this, I of course, still need to get through this bad patch. I fully realise that I can’t keep blaming my past on how I feel today. I know that my reactions and feelings stem from my insecurities and my innate inability to believe that I can be loved. Yet, acknowledgement and awareness is not actually helping me to change how I behave.

I am trying so hard not to be sucked further into this black hole of depression and this pit of self-despair.  I try harder to keep a smile on my face and to appear happy.  I’ve even started to keep clear of confrontation.  Me? Steer away from confrontation? That, in itself, should be a warning sign!

On the Threshold of Eternity

On the Threshold of Eternity (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Based on past experience, I recognise all the warning signs:  the hyper-sensitivity, the tearfulness, the feelings of being unloved and being unworthy, the increased shopping expenditure and consequent credit card debt, the need to look and feel more in control by focusing on my physical appearance – and yes, shying away from confrontation because I know I’m not emotionally strong enough to handle it at this juncture.

Am I bipolar? Apparently, after chatting to a friend that is bipolar (and doing a bit of ‘google-ing’), I’m not. Is my life, my job, my lifestyle, my relationships, so bad? No. There is no logical answer for my destructive behaviour – except that I do still feel this way. Previously I turned to antidepressants as a miracle cure for my depressive state of mind. I can’t do the same now – after all, surely 50 mg of Zoloft a day should be doing the trick?

Honestly, I don’t have the answers. I am caught in a spiral and I am trying to claw my way out.  Hopefully, dear reader, I will succeed, because there is one huge difference between now and the depression I suffered in the past:   I can now write about it and openly share my feelings without fear of admonishment or undue remorse. I can draw on the strengths and experiences of other writers and bloggers who are, or have, gone through the same trials and tribulations. 

I am not alone.

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The darker side of a shopping addict

After sneaking another new pair of shoes into the house to avoid detection, I realised that I have a serious shopping problem. 

Confessions of a Shopaholic (film)Yes, yes, we’ve all watched the movie, “Confessions of a shopaholic”;

Yes, we are all very familiar with the term shopaholic; and

Yes, most women glibly claim that they are shopping addicts and just love shopping.

So, is there really such a thing as a shopaholic?  Well, apparently there is!  A shopping addiction even has a name, oniomania, as classified by German psychologist, Emil Kraepelin.

Oniomania (pronounced o-nee-o-may-nee-a) is the psychiatric term for compulsive shoppingAbout.com explains that people with oniomania shop on impulse as a way of coping, and find it difficult to control their spending or shopping behaviours. Moreover, this addiction is perhaps the most socially re-inforced of all behavioural addictions due to influences such as consumerism.

In short, shopping is a behaviour altering activity that is performed excessively as an outlet for emotion or as a way to deal with stress.  

Elizabeth Hartney sums up the characteristics of a shopaholic quite nicely in “Inside the mind of a shopaholic – The personality of the compulsive shopaholic”.  Here, a shopaholic is described as a person with emotional problems such as depression or anxiety, a low self-esteem and difficulties controlling impulses. Add materialistic and indulgence in fantasy to that list and you have an accurate profile of an oniomaniac.

To confirm my suspicions, I decided to score myself according to the Compulsive Buying Scale.  If you score 42.2 or more, you are a compulsive shopper. My score:  50. 

It’s time to start making some lifestyle changes.  I’m going to follow the advice of experts and create a budget to start tracking my spending.  In addition, I plan to remove my credit cards and store cards from my purse and avoid shopping malls for the next 21 days. If that doesn’t help, then I’m increasing my anti-depressant dosage and re-visiting my therapist!

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