Confessions of a Shopaholic

How Shopping Can Be A Sign Of Borderline Personality Disorder

Do you know that person who is always getting the round in despite their £950-a-month box room in Zone 3 and 25k salary? Maybe they go through periods of getting ASOS delivery after ASOS delivery to the office? Or perhaps they’re always up for going for dinner at the fancy place, choosing to whack it on their credit card. For many, especially those with Borderline Personality Disorder and bi-polar, excessive spending and shopping is a sign of a mental health problem.

Prone to risky behaviours, those of us with Borderline Personality Disorder are more likely to drive our car too fast, drink too much and generally act impulsively. Of course, this doesn’t mean people with BPD are always erratic- on a personal level I maintain a job I love, a freelance client, friendships and the general day-to-day grind of London living, all without a problem. But for me, one of the major signs that I need to take some time out is when I’m prone to shopping… a lot.

Confessions of a shopaholic

Subjective as it is, I know if I’m dropping £30 on a cushion foundation I already own a dupe of and £50 on basic tees from Primark several times per week then there’s something in my brain which has caused me to overcompensate.

A full on self-confessed beauty addict, the odd nail polish or liquid lipstick during my lunch hour is nothing but when there’s nine unworn shades of peach blush piling up in my collection that have all been bought in the last two weeks then it’s time for me to check myself (before I quite literally wreck myself)

Borderline Personality Disorder and Impulsivity

Impulsivity is a huge part of Borderline Personality Disorder- those acts which seem wild and fun to friends and especially to yourself often go deeper. That excuse of “It’s only £50 here and there” or “I deserve it because I’m tired/stressed/happy/sad” creeps out from under the wood work and the paper shopping bags make me unhappy once I see them stuffed in a corner of my room or in my lounge.

With Borderline Personality Disorder, it’s important we try to look within and wonder what is going on- why are we eating too much or too little? Why are we chain smoking? Why are we acting with such impulse? For me, it comes down to stress a lot of the time. If I’m feeling stressed, I’m not thinking about my long-term financial goals and I genuinely start to believe that a new striped top/pair of silver Birkenstocks/avocado phone cover will suddenly change my life, transform me into a slim and chic girl boss and help me meet the love of my life. In truth, it’s only working on myself that can do those things.

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Luckily I’ve never got into debt through shopping and I’ve planned a solo trip to Thailand for two weeks in November to help focus my financial mind. Until then, it’s a case of updating my shopping inspiration blog posts, pinning away my dream wardrobe on Pinterest and shopping my (ever decreasing) beauty stash.


This is a personal experience of Borderline Personality Disorder, I am not a medical professional. For advice, please seek help from your GP or visit Mind.

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