Mental Health Month – My Shopping Addiction Story

This post was originally published in 2018.

Mental Health Month - My Shopping Addiction Story | Life of Dahlia

As you know this month I want to focus on talking about mental health, I’ll be chatting about some real issues as well as some more positive things.

Today I’m going to be talking about an issue I think doesn’t get talked about a lot and that’s Shopping Addiction. I’ve seen a few people talking about their personal stories when it comes to shopping addiction recently and that’s what inspired me to want to get real and open up about mine. (I’ll link them at the bottom of the post.)

This is going to be a long one, but I would love if you could read throught it because I think its important issue to have a discussion about.

Like I mentioned before I feel like Shopping Addiction is something that isn’t discussed as much as say drug or gambling addictions and while it may not always have the same unhealthing impact as say that of taking drugs, it can certainly have a similar impact to having a gambling addiction but instead of gambling your money away you end up with lots of stuff that you didn’t nessaserily need which then inturn can cause its own problems.

My Shopping Addiction Story

Over the years I have had a problem with spending money even though I didn’t have alot of it, I’ve had hobbies that ended up with me having lots of stuff that it became overwhelming and after I moved on to something else I had all this stuff just sitting there. Even the thought of decluttering made me feel overwhelmed and guilty, because I felt like I had wasted money and was concerned about the waste I was creating by having so much and having to get rid of it caused me alot of anxiety.

Photo by Erin Applebee

Purchasing Makeup

To other people in my life they often comment don’t you have enough makeup but because of my past shopping addictions, I am actually really picky when it comes what I buy now, don’t worry I have moments where I have felt the need to have certain things.
I tend to do a lot of research before making most of my purchases and I do Project Pans to use up some of my older makeup. I make sure that I only have a small amount when it comes to basic products like foundation, concealer, mascara etc because they are the products that will go off quicker.

And while eyeshadow is most definitely my thing I try to do a lot of research before purchasing and only on the odd occasion will I pick something up that is more of an impulse purchase. If there is something that I have purchased that doesn’t work for me anymore, if its good condition and within expiration, I’ll pass it on to someone else who might like to use it. (I do sanitize my makeup I’m actually really good about it even for my own use, it’s actually probably a bit OCD.)

Image by Rawpixel.com on Freepik.com

My Past Addictions

My anxiety most definitely has affected my purchases in the past, It’s hard for me to be amongst people especially by myself. So I am more likely to spend a lot of money when I’m out by myself because of that adrenaline or feel good factor. This is something I need to work on but I know that will take time for me to combat some of my anxiety issues.

I’ve always been a creative person and have always turned to that as a comfort or place of solitude. Its what I turn to keep my mind off things but in the past, it has also has given me confidence, in certain areas.

I’m not one of those people who can just have one creative outlet and stick with it, which means over the years I have chopped and changed from one thing to another. That also means that I have accumulated stuff, I was really into crafting for a long time and different types like scrapbooking and making headdresses and fascinators,etc.

For a while there I had a little scrapbooking & design business, it didn’t really work out for various reasons but I actually think it was an excuse for me to just keep buying stuff, especially in its first variation. I’ve been trying to declutter this stuff for years but I do think these experiences have made me aware that I had a problem at the time, though I don’t think that at that time I realised I did.

I stopped crafting because I just didn’t have the room for the things I was buying and the things I was making. This tends to be when my interests changed, photography has always been one of my favourite hobbies and my dream has always been to be one in some variation. I really wanted to do fantasy portraits, so I started buying things like dresses and making things I could use as props, well because of how bad my anxiety is this has yet become a goal I can reach.

As I mentioned earlier, when I used to go out by myself I would have a tendency to spend money because of that feel good factor, it gave me confidence. One of my loves for a long time has been op-shopping and its still something I enjoy but the countless times I would buy things because I was in the zone of having that confidence. I accumulated so many clothes and nick nacks.

I don’t know when things changed and when I decided to be more mindful, but while I have accumulated stuff, I have also been able to declutter some stuff over the years. I will always offer them to people I know or donate them to a local second-hand store though sometimes I do feel bad about doing this because of the sheer amount of say craft stuff I accumilated it still just felt wasteful.

I’m certainly not perfect and I still have moments when I need to take a step back and go no you don’t need that.

Image by Benzoix on Freepik.com

I’ve had incidence recently where I’ve purchased something and it hasn’t lived up to my expectations and has caused me to have a panic attack and for this reason, I think is why I’m trying really hard to not impulse purchase. Mind you the item in question was something I had been looking into for a while but I still didn’t meet my expectations, luckily I was able to return it and get my money back because it was also very expensive.

I think now I make myself feel guilty because I have accumulated so much and that makes me feel horrible, especially when I end up having to get rid of it because I’m not using it anymore. I’m sure anyone else who experiences anxiety knows how it likes to make you feel so bad about yourself, something I’m really good at is putting myself down.

I do feel guilty now because of this stuff and I know that I shouldn’t, what I do want to take from this is a lesson to be more mindful about my purchases and just because something pretty doesn’t mean I need it. I need to change my thinking and try and not fall into the trap of purchasing things to make myself feel good.

This has actually been a really hard post for me to write and I know its kind of all over the place but I think it has been hard because I haven’t really opened up about it with anyone except maybe, my mum. I want this month to be about creating a conversation surrounding mental health, and so I knew that I should open up about my own story something I’m sure a lot of people would know that’s not easy.

I know that I will never be a minimalist, I’m okay with that but I’m trying my hardest to not have to much clutter because that’s not great for my mental health and that’s something I’ve learned over time.


Have you been through something similar? Let’s start a conversation in the comments

I just wanted to thank you for reading my post, as you know this month is about mental health awareness on my blog and that is why I am supporting the Liptember campaign with some of my Rainbow Pouts Sisters. I would love if you could check out our Social Media (Facebook & Instagram) pages and consider making a donation through our Official Liptember Donation Page. (links are no longer available because the campaign is over but you can still support Liptember every september)

Until next time, I hope you have a lovely day.

Links to videos as referenced in the post above:

Lauren Mae beauty– makeup hoarding https://youtu.be/v9jnNUGdYJs
Makeup addition https://youtu.be/g-9n-YlHtYU
Lacie https://youtu.be/E7XwXZxSp-c
Hannah https://youtu.be/0o6dzBoFI5E

Credits- Images featured on my cover photo and in post photo created by rawpixel.com – www.freepik.com  , featured cover Image & image 2 photo created by benzoix – www.freepik.com . Image 1 by me.

Disclaimer – This post is not sponsored and doesn’t contain any affiliate links, links included are for reference only in case your interest in checking out anything mentioned in this post. Read full Disclaimer here.


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