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Reader needs serious help

Last post 09-18-2009 3:49 PM by Deborahmichelle. 11 replies.
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  • 09-10-2009 11:16 AM

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-06-2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,459

    Reader needs serious help

    This is from a reader:

    I am in serious troble with my over-spending and I think this time it is going to end my marriage..For the firsttime in my life I'm so scared and ready to find out what the cause of my problem is.

    I would like to go to a pyschiatrist to seek these issues out but I don't know how to begin to pick one that will help. Is there a place or association that refers doctors that are good in their fields?

    Does anyone have information or advice for this situation?

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  • 09-10-2009 11:28 AM In reply to

    Re: Reader needs serious help

     Unfortunately, psychiatry is self-regulated, and every state has slightly different regulations on what is needed, etc. So, it's hard to find a trustworthy website or reference place. That said, her best bet is to look into addiction treatment centers (that's what compulsive spending is, actually) and schedule a consultation.  Most have free consult.  She can google "Compulsive spending treatment" and her city and state, and that should bring up a list of treatment centers. She can check the BBB to make sure they've no complaints against them, and the state psychiatric board. Aside from that, the only option is to ask for referrals from friends, family, co-workers, etc.  She is going to want to find an addiction specialist, but she may not need a psychiatrist. Many psychologists and behavioral therapists deal with these issues, as well, just as effectively. Behavioral therapy is one of the most effective treatments for addictions, so she may want to look up those therapists with a behavior philosophy.

    There are often support groups, as well, and those can be a better source of referrals. Some are held like AA meetings, and others as group therapy sessions. She should be able to find those online, through the addiction treatment centers, or through her local health department. Other people in the same situation are likely to give her the most honest, useful referrals.

    I hope our reader finds the help they need, and I'll be thinking of them today.

    "This isn't life in the fast lane, it's life in oncomming traffic." -Terry Pratchett

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  • 09-10-2009 11:59 AM In reply to

    Re: Reader needs serious help

     If the reader is a person of faith, there are many faith based counseling centers both in and out of churches.  Prices vary from"free" to the "going rate".

    There are also couples get away weekends.  It is recognizes that money issues are a major issue between couples and many offer money suggestions.

    You teach people how to treat you -- Dr Phil
  • 09-10-2009 12:11 PM In reply to

    Re: Reader needs serious help

    Consumer Credit Counseling is a nonprofit whose services are available in most major cities.  They can advise our reader and put her in touch with mental health counseling and/or twelve-step programs which can help her.

    Looking for help with a problem you can't solve by yourself is nothing to be ashamed of.  Media, indeed this entire society, train us to be compulsive consumers. Few resources outside of the frugality blogs acknowledge this or have any interest in breaking the compulsion.  She has my sympathy. It's easy to be a non-consumer if you're born and raised poor, but the number and variety of temptations available to higher-income people must be nearly irresistible.

  • 09-10-2009 12:16 PM In reply to

    Re: Reader needs serious help

    In the short term, while you're looking for counseling, don't be afraid to go to a bookstore or library and check out the self help section. Spending can be like an addiction and many people have written about their struggles. Reading about other peoples experience may help you connect and see things from a new perspective. You could also check and see if the local Alcoholics Anonymous has information on Spenders Anonymous. I'm sure there are many people who are just now discovering they have a problem with spending. Good Luck
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  • 09-10-2009 1:47 PM In reply to

    Re: Reader needs serious help

    2ndGenGranola:

     If the reader is a person of faith, there are many faith based counseling centers both in and out of churches.  Prices vary from"free" to the "going rate".

    There are also couples get away weekends.  It is recognizes that money issues are a major issue between couples and many offer money suggestions.

    Churches offer more than worship. They are a storehouse of information. Your post is so helpful.

    thyme2save
  • 09-11-2009 11:09 PM In reply to

    Re: Reader needs serious help

     For right now, you might try Googling compulsive spending. I would think there are groups on the Internet for people with this problem. Going to some AA meetings, too - just substitute Spending in place of Drinking (you don't have to announce this, as sometimes AAs only want people with alcohol problems), but I think it would help you a lot. An addiction/compulsion is the same no matter what substance you're abusing.

  • 09-12-2009 10:19 AM In reply to

    Re: Reader needs serious help

    Call the county health service and ask for a referral to a mental-health provider - such referrals will work for a sliding scale fee based on the person's income.
  • 09-12-2009 10:29 AM In reply to

    Re: Reader needs serious help

    Many years ago I was a compulsive spender, I have a slight ocd disorder. What I did is turn it the other way and became ocd about saving money. If the shopping compulson comes back I just go to the thrift store and spend 5 dollars thats all I take with me and it seems to work. My mom as the same disorder.

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  • 09-13-2009 9:08 PM In reply to

    Re: Reader needs serious help

    From the information you are giving, it sounds to me that spending is more of a compulsive issue. In my experience, I would compulsively spend only when I didn't feel good about myself.  I would go to stores and buy things so that I can fill the empty hole I had in my gut.  I found out later that not one thing would do that for me.  Fortunately, I found help for myself not with a psychiatrist--that would have cost me even more money which I did not have in the first place--but with D.A., or Debtors Anonymous.  It is a wonderful fellowship that taught me not only how to be an adult about money, but also gave me the chance to live within my means, and yet not be defined by them.  My life is so incredibly abundant right now, and I do not have to act on my compulsions.  If you are willing to change your habits about money, and receive hope and help for yourself, then that is the place that I recommend for you.  Good luck!

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