Aarti had a ‘one stop solution ‘for all her problems – shopping. She “shopped till she dropped” would be a metaphor befitting her status. She would be seen leaving the malls, her maid, and her driver following her with the bags. She was a shopaholic, giving paramount importance to retail therapy, anything and everything acted as an emotional trigger for her.
By the time Aditya ,her husband would be back from the work, she would instruct her maid, ”Rupa , let us stash way all the purses in my closet, hang the clothes in the rack amongst all the clothes before your Aditya Bhaiiya comes”. Rupa was used to Aarti’s style of functioning, and she was aware that Aditya was thrifty and absolutely detested Aarti’s squandering. She said ,”Didi, I know we have to hide everything before bhaiyya comes, I hope you remembered to pick up something for me.” “The dressed you picked up last time for me was a size too big and the colour did not go well with my dark skin”, she added cheekily. In pursuit of her material happiness Aarti overlooked that Rupa had started manipulating her and extorting gifts from her to keep her secrets under wraps.
Her CBD was taken to the next level with the introduction of buying apps like ‘Jabong’ , ‘Myntra’ , ‘Shopclues’ and others ,which she downloaded in her latest Apple phone and now , she bought everything at the click of a mouse.
But what had led to Aarti’s CBD?
Anything and everything would act as an emotional trigger for her. In Aarti’s case she shopped to relieve boredom, alleviate loneliness .Aditya had a travelling job and most of the times, she would look after the home and the hearth on her own and did a super job of it except for her obsession, there was no reason for any discord in their relationship .Often as a fun time activity she went shopping with her gal pals followed by coffee at the café or a drink at the lounge.
Emotional triggers can be many and varied and often research and studies have come up with data that is an eye opener to the current trends among shoppers all over the world.
- 52% of Americans engage in Retail Therapy(TNS Global/Ebates)
- 62 % of shoppers purchased an item to cheer themselves up (British Pshychological Society).
- 9%shop after having a bad day at work, 14.6% after hearing bad news and 12.2 5 after fighting with a loved one. (TNS Global/Ebates)
- 4 in 10 women agreed that shopping improves one’s mood. (TNS Global/Ebates)
- Shopping minimizes sadness up to 3x.(University of Michigan).
Data has proved that we Indians are big shoppers and other than the three seasons of the country Summer, Rainy, and Winter –we have introduced a fourth season – the Wedding season. Indians are known to spend whopping amounts of money on shopping for clothes, jewellery both real (gold and diamond) and other accessories. Designers launch their new collections in accordance with the wedding season. The Indian economy thrives on the spending habits of these big shoppers to complete the needs and requirements of the ‘Big Fat Indian Wedding’.
Shopping gives you a temporary high, uplifting one’s mood .The buyer also indulges in this so called ‘Comfort buys’ taking unplanned, spur of the moment trips to the mall.
According to a HUFFPOST, recently the psychological community has identified Compulsive Buying Disorder as to the chronic purchasing of unneeded or unwanted things, which disrupts daily functioning. The psychological benefits associated with shopping are
- Boosting Self Esteem
- Feeling of being Important and respected
- Improve Self Image and Self Evaluation
- Fit into an Appearance based Society – high value brands represents success .
CBT Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treatment
CBT is a very popular for its non invasive and non drug based approach to therapy which teaches the patient to exercise more control over his spending habits. Group therapy with multiple patients participating with more patients is advantageous as the patients are relieved to see that there are others too, who are sailing in the same boat.
This reduces namely two things – shame and guilt.
BACK TO THE STORY
Aditya who prided himself on his cool and calm nature, was at his tethers end when he discovered the surmounting credit card bills, the money allocated for household expenses vanishing in a jiffy, he confronted Aarti upfront.
They decided to approach a therapist, who was a family friend. As luck would have it, the therapist had her daughter’s wedding coming up. She subtly asked Aarti to accompany her daughter for the wedding shopping as she herself was too tied up with her professional commitments and also lacked interest and expertise in the arena of shopping.
Aarti’s sense and sensibilities in fashion, her great taste in clothes and accessories gave her a new profession, “Personal Shopper”. Offers started pouring in and she was employed by independent clients, the icing on the cake was when she got offers from shops to be employed as a ‘Personal Shopper’.