Monday, 02 December 2019 20:25

Compulsive online shopping: Are YOU at risk?

The fastest growing addiction in the US is online shopping. Ads pop up on our social media, news feeds and email. Boxes pile up in your closet of unopened packages. And then one day you notice you purchased the same item twice! Are you addicted to online shopping or any shopping for that matter? Let’s break down this latest epidemic.

What is Compulsive Spending Disorder?

A “Compulsive Buying Disorder (CBD)” was first described in the early 20th century as a compulsive disorder that left the patient with debt.  Later in the century its classification was debated and eventually included with the personality disorders.

Compulsive buying is known as “oniomania” where one buys impulsively and excessively to the point that it leaves them in financial hardship.  And despite their financial issues they continue to make purchases.  We’ve used the term “shopaholics” to describe those addicted to shopping but compulsive buying connotes the lack sense of financial ruin that can ensue. The spending is an attempt to satisfy a need that never gets fulfilled.

Compulsive buying disorder may be seen in those who suffer from mania and bipolar disorder.  During manic episodes excessive spending may occur.  Additionally we may see CBD co-morbidly in those who suffer from eating, gambling, substance use, and mood disorders.

What is Compulsive Online Shopping?

Compulsive online shopping occurs when purchases are made online, without much thought or planning, and at a frequency where it may interfere with one’s life.  People who might have never become a compulsive shopper in a traditional store may become easily addicted to online shopping.  Those who are compulsive online shoppers may exhibit any of the following:

  • Preoccupation with when they can go online to search items
  • Anxiety when one cannot go online
  • Purchasing items they don’t necessarily need
  • Spending beyond their budget
  • Hiding their shopping behavior
  • Feeling guilt after shopping
  • Struggling at work or at home because of the time devoted to online shopping
  • Other addictive or impulsive behaviors such as binge eating, drinking, or substance abuse

So compulsive online shopping, as well as compulsive buying disorder, can affect relationships, employment, finances and health.

How many people suffer from Compulsive Online Shopping Disorder?

Various sources have put the range at 5-8% of the US population.

Why are people becoming addicted?

When one is able to shop from the comfort of one’s desk or work station, the “ease” factor drives more shopping.  Avoiding the need to leave work or home to battle traffic and weather and long lines, is one of the biggest draws.  Moreover, those who hate going into a store or dressing room, concerned others will see the sizes of clothes they are trying on, can now shop in the privacy in their own home.  Additionally shopping allows one to fight the boredom they have at work or home and give one a sense of accomplishment.  And once one has a successful and satisfying purchase, the reward centers of the brain are activated making one want to shop more.

Hence, shrewd marketing will appeal to the human psyche by any of the following:

  • Displaying or popping up attractive ads on your browser or social media
  • Disrupting your feed, reading material or game with above ads
  • Following your likes, searches or prior purchases and suggesting related products
  • Offering deals and coupons that can be used immediately
  • “Rewarding” the buyer with positive feedback after the purchase such as, “You SAVED 15%!”
  • Allowing the purchase to be done so quickly and easily that one has less of an opportunity to ponder the purchase
  • Sending reminders of a reorder

So how can one avoid becoming a compulsive online shopper?

Don’t give in to the ads.  People must realize they are being bombarded with some of the most creative marketing manipulation known to mankind.  We can’t fall for it.  Why are we letting our smart devices dictate to us what we need in our closets, pantries or garages?

But to fight the urge to shop online excessively, we must:

  • Budget expenditures and stick to it
  • Have hobbies
  • Avoid boredom, or going to the internet when bored
  • Limit internet time
  • Stop ads and unsubscribe on out tablet or smart phone
  • Deputize a family member to be our go-to when we want authorization to purchase something online.
  • Ask ourselves prior to purchasing:  Do I really need this item?
  • Seek counseling if unable to stop

If needed, compulsive shopping can be treated with therapy as well as medications including SSRI’s, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which are efficacious in those with impulsive personalities or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Published in Opinion
Thursday, 28 November 2019 02:14

What we’re STILL thankful for this year

Thanksgiving dinner is always a big event at the Knecht home, but it will be delayed this year. Ron will be in the hospital recovering from major back surgery.

When folks have heard about this, they have given the normal and appreciated expressions of concern and support. Ron’s response has been to thank them and say that, really, it’s a great event, a source of joy and real thanksgiving.

For, if anyone had the conditions that require this surgery 100 years ago, it was not then available. So, by this point in life or fairly soon the person would have been in a wheel chair or bed for the rest of his life.

Instead, while it is a major event today, it is something that can be scheduled for minimum time away from the job and when it’s convenient in a person’s life. Soon, Ron expects to be free of pain he has experienced for years, then fully recovered and restored to what he was able to do before the back problems began to seriously crimp his life.

We can all be thankful for the doctors, physical therapists and other medical professionals who do the remarkable things to provide such services and otherwise restore us to good health and function. And, of course, to the incredible people and businesses that developed and commercialized these near miracles.

In the words of the Founding Fathers, we also thank Divine Providence.

But we also see something else that’s essential and for which we are thankful. None of this would be possible without rapid economic growth and the limited government, individual liberty and economic freedom that foster such growth.

What’s the connection between those three factors, rapid economic growth and modern medical wonders?

For almost all human history, people did not have limited government, individual liberty and economic freedom. So, for thousands of years, economic growth was glacially slow. Thus, it could truly be said that one’s lot in life for almost everyone was that of their parents. From this fact, philosophy, religion and people’s approach to life tended to be quite fatalistic. The modern American ideas of opportunity, self determination and Horatio Alger tales was unknown and would have seemed strange, or even heretical, to most people.

But about 350 years ago, Britain began to develop the political and economic institutions, practices and policies that flowered even further in its colonies and became the framework for American government and society, as well as that of Britain. So, in the 19th Century, the US and Britain came to dominate the world economically and otherwise. Other countries followed, and to the extent they adopted those institutions, etc. that economists have identified, they also prospered.

Economic growth means people’s lives are not wholly consumed with providing the basics of food, shelter, warm clothing, etc. Instead, they have time and extra resources remaining after taking care of those needs to devote to other matters.

For example, they can gain education and indulge music and the arts. They can build the big businesses that make cities possible. And they can create institutions that take care of the poor, conduct research and ultimately create the medical, communications, transportation, industrial and other wonders that make modern life so rich.

Thus, today’s poor people enjoy goods and services that would have been unthinkable even for the richest nobles a century ago.

This is how rapid economic growth, fed by limited government, individual liberty and economic freedom produced the remarkable services and goods that will give Ron and millions of others a new lease on life instead of ending their productive times and joy of life. Without the rapid economic growth we have enjoyed the last 200 years, those things would not be possible for people even a millennium from now.

So, we invite you to join us this year in giving thanks for the limited government, individual liberty and economic freedom that produced rapid economic growth and these tangible blessings.

We’ve noted before that rapid growth has disintegrated in the last decade because those three factors have eroded over many decades and especially recently. Let’s work to restore all parts of this equation to yield even greater miracles for our children.

 

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Ron Knecht is a contributing editor to the Penny Press - the conservative weekly "voice of Nevada." You can subscribe at www.pennypressnv.com. This is an edited version of his column which has been reprinted with permission. 

Published in U.S.

Thanksgiving (and the in-laws) has come and gone. And now we have lots of leftovers. And lots of pets. Can pets eat Thanksgiving table scraps and leftovers?

Let’s look at what they can and cannot eat.

Dogs

 

dog

 

According to the American Kennel Club, dogs can eat the following (in moderate amounts):

  • Turkey, Chicken, Beef (remove all bones so they don’t get swallowed and perforate the gut)

  • Ham

  • Shrimp

  • Salmon

  • Eggs

  • Cheese

  • Peanut Butter

  • Bread (without raisins)

  • Popcorn

  • Corn

  • Honey

  • Coconut

Avoid the following in dogs:

May be toxic; cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea; kidney damage; pancreatitis due to high fat content, or intestinal obstruction.

  • Onions

  • Garlic

  • Avocado

  • Raisins

  • Grapes

  • Chocolate

  • Cinnamon

  • Ice cream

  • Almonds

  • Macadamia nuts

  • Alcohol

  • Nutmeg

  • Mushrooms

  • Energy drinks

  • Fatty/fried foods

 

In addition to my dog Apollo, I have 4 cats.  So they’re begging for Thanksgiving leftovers as well.

Cats

 

cat-1

 

Fluffy can eat – but again only in moderation:

  • Meat

  • Fish

  • Grains

  • Vegetables (though many stick their nose up at it)

  • Eggs

  • Cheese

  • Butter

Avoid similar foods as with dogs due to toxicity and also (according to Vetsnow)

  • Alcohol

  • Artificial Sweeteners

  • Raw fish and eggs

  • Coffee, tea and energy drinks

Fish

 

fish

 

Yes, even Nemo can join in for Thanksgiving leftovers.

It appears fish can eat many types of meat and vegetables and even cooked rice but be careful of toxins and cooking oils.

Parakeet

 

parakeet

I don’t have any of these and if I did, I doubt I’d share my turkey with it. But according to pethelpful.com, many fruits, vegetables, breads and nuts (chopped up without shell) can be eaten by birdie.

I hope everyone had a healthy and wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

 

 

 

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Daliah Wachs is a guest contributor to GCN news. Doctor Wachs is an MD,  FAAFP and a Board Certified Family Physician.  The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00 pm (all central times) at GCN.

Published in News & Information
Wednesday, 22 November 2017 16:26

The Holidays and the In-laws: Your Step by Step Guide

Thanksgiving is here!! Good food, no school, no work, and most of all….. family!!

For many this is one of the best holidays ever!!

For some…..the most dreaded all year.

This is your very rare and valuable time off, and you have to spend all of it with people who don’t like you and you’re not particularly fond of. Four days of staying with family, (especially if they don’t let you stay a hotel and insist you stay with them), can be more than many can bear.

So here are some steps you can take to make the holidays easier.

1. Huddle up

 

huddle

Usually your spouse wants to avoid controversy just as much as you do.  Before the encounter, huddle up and create a strategy for:

a.  How to deal with insults

b.  How to take a break – take the car to go grab some last-minute Thanksgiving necessities

c.  Where you get to sit at the table

d.  Potential arguments regarding the children and their upbringing

2.  Try to get a hotel room

 

hotel

This gives you the much-needed reprieve at the end of the day. However, if the family insists you stay with them and 4 nights at Hotel Hell are just too much to bear, plan a “sneak away” for an evening with your wife and tell the Grandparents they will host the kid’s slumber party.  Remember to thank them for the huge favor they are doing allowing you and the wife a much needed night away “from the kids” …wink…wink…..

3.  Football

 

prescott

Thank Heavens the Cowboys are playing this Thanksgiving.  Usually there is someone else in the family just as sane as you are when it comes to football, so you can immediately partner with him to get the television on and the game playing.  Although this may only give you a 15 minute “out” of the family festivities, it’s 15 minutes of pure euphoria.

4.  Remember you have sciatica

 

sciatica

The most difficult part of Thanksgiving/Christmas is sitting at a table for hours and usually trapped, physically, because the chairs are pushed together so tight that you can’t push out the chair. If you ever, ever, ever had an issue with your back, knee, leg, muscle, or even pinky toe, use this as an excuse to heave the table forward so you can get up and stretch your legs.  Slowly limp over to the living room where hopefully you left the football game on……

5.  Get called to work

 

work

No in-law can or wants to take on your boss. So during the 7 day stent, politely excuse yourself if you need to go onto a computer, make a phone call, or drive 60 miles away for “work”.  Make sure your spouse is on board with this one……

6.  Have “diarrhea”

 

toilet

You get to leave the room and no one wants to be near you. You just gained escaping 3-5 times/hour since you need to “run” to the bathroom.

7.  Inform the family you feel a cold coming on

 

cold

Don’t jinx yourself but this gets you out of hugs, and sloppy lipstick kisses…..

Ok this gives you a well-coordinated exit plan but what happens if they are on to you?  How do you deal with the remaining, 3 days, 23 hours and 45 minutes?

1.  Don’t take it personally

 

When the insults and digs come, don’t feel like these personal attacks need to stick. You have enough people in your life telling you your shortcomings. The in-laws are either being redundant or telling you something that doesn’t hold true.

2.  You’re not alone

 

Millions of adults are in the exact same position as you at the same moment in time.  You’re not alone.  Just sneak a peek on facebook and you’ll scroll through hundreds of “Ugh!!!!”s………..

3.  Make a game of it

 

Bet your wife or coworker that you will get the most insults over the holiday than they will and write down or note every time it happens. The more it occurs, you win. Compare notes or use it as a “get out jail free card” with your spouse.

4.  Have a happy place

 

Negotiate with your spouse prior to the holiday a “free day” or “free weekend” that you will earn upon completion of a 7 day holiday with the in-laws.  Plan and fantasize about this reward throughout your tour of duty to make the path easier

5.  Bring the pets

 

cat-1

 

Since you are usually outnumbered during these family events, why not have non humans come to your aid. Dogs need to be walked, cats need to be chased, so this gives you an out and gives you a much-needed buddy during the hard times.

Look, it’s not easy, but remember why you’re there.  For YOUR family.  Your spouse and kids need to spend the holidays with you so grin and bear it.  And remember you may be luckier than the average guy.  He could be spending the WHOLE WEEK!  Ahhh, you DO have something to be thankful for.  

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

 

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Daliah Wachs is a guest contributor to GCN news. Doctor Wachs is an MD,  FAAFP and a Board Certified Family Physician.  The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00 pm (all central times) at GCN.

 

Published in News & Information
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 18:31

Thanksgiving: The holiday for atheist socialists

Labor Day is a holiday that appeals to a majority of Americans. Most Americans work for a living, and most laborers get Labor Day off from work. The recent holiday made me think of which holidays are recognized and celebrated by the most Americans.

Independence Day is likely the holiday celebrated by the most Americans. Each American recognizes and celebrates the Fourth of July in their own way, even if fireworks aren’t available. Memorial Day is also recognized and celebrated by many Americans because most Americans know someone who’s served in the military, and again, many people get the day off.

Upon a recent visit to the dollar store, though, I was excited to see Thanksgiving decorations being put on display. While Halloween is still nearly two months away, I feel Thanksgiving, like Independence Day, is one of those holidays that’s most recognized and celebrated due to its mass appeal -- something Christmas and Easter can’t offer.

Thanksgiving doesn’t get the respect Christmas and Easter get, but you too can make your family members rethink the relative importance of the holiday. While Christmas and Easter only appeal to Christians, Thanksgiving is a holiday for all Americans, regardless of religious preference. Even atheists can enjoy Thanksgiving, and I think it’s more important to recognize how thankful we are for the sacrifices of the locals who made America possible than to recognize the birth, murder and rebirth of a man perceived to be the son of God.

As an atheist, I don’t celebrate Christmas or Easter. While the holidays are unavoidably happening around me, I don’t allow myself (or sometimes anyone else) enjoy them. Don’t get me wrong, I give Christmas presents to my immediate family and closest friends, but I give my family and friends gifts regardless of season or reason. There need not be an occasion to give, and as a socialist, I believe that wholeheartedly.

Thanksgiving is a celebration of socialism. It’s the celebration of a bunch of helpless, lost explorers being saved by locals willing to share. Since Thanksgiving is a socialist holiday, every attendee of my Thanksgiving Extravaganza (A.T.E. for Anthony’s Thanksgiving Extravaganza) is encouraged to bring something -- anything -- to share. Whether you have something old you don’t need that someone else might, or a book you’ve read that you think someone would find helpful or entertaining, you can share it with someone at A.T.E. who needs it more than you. You can also bring food for the traditional Thanksgiving meal, of course.

It’s not just the sharing that I love about Thanksgiving. It’s the days spent cooking. I find cooking and baking very rewarding. Your time in the kitchen is an opportunity to be artistic and improvisational. You try new things and learn a trade that will come in handy the rest of your life. It’s even therapeutic. I spend most of my days off from work in the kitchen, and with football on in the background all day, I can spend 12 hours in a kitchen on Thanksgiving and hardly notice.

Losing football on Thanksgiving would be as detrimental to the holiday as losing Easter eggs on Easter or Christmas trees on Christmas. I’ve never experienced a Thanksgiving without football and never want to. Football will be forever linked with my celebration of Thanksgiving because during A.T.E.’s Thanksgiving Tailgate, the kids open Thanksgiving stockings stuffed with stocking stuffers. The stockings are football socks filled with candy and small gifts.

We do Thanksgiving baskets at A.T.E., too. They’re like Easter baskets but, again, themed Thanksgiving. You might find an Easter biscuit shaped like a turkey or a plastic Easter egg filled with coupons for services to be rendered. There is no exchange of cash at A.T.E., but there is a gift exchange. Each attendee is asked to bring a gift or gifts valued at no more than $16.21 (the year of the first Thanksgiving) to be given to the person or persons in attendance for whom they’re most thankful.

There is no Black Friday shopping that occurs at my celebration of Thanksgiving, either. The only money spent during A.T.E. goes to the locals who saved white lives only to be forced from their homes in return. A.T.E. concludes with a journey to the nearest Indian casino, so attendees can show how thankful they are for the locals saving their ancestors’ lives by losing some of what their ancestors stole back to the locals.

Here’s my itinerary for A.T.E. You can use it as a model for your own Thanksgiving celebration. Next year, I hope to have a fireworks display to make my Thanksgiving rival any American holiday.

Inaugural A.T.E. Itinerary

November 23, 2017

9:30 AM to 11 AM: Thanksgiving Tailgate/Thanksgiving Stockings and Baskets

A traditional football tailgate with a traditional tailgate breakfast -- burgers, brats, beers and a Bloody Mary bar. This will also be when we open Thanksgiving stockings and Thanksgiving baskets.

11 AM to 3 PM: Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions

We’ll watch the Vikings destroy the Lions on the big screen.

3 PM to 6 PM: Los Angeles Chargers @ Dallas Cowboys

We’ll watch the Cowboys destroy the Chargers, which shouldn’t take long.

6 PM to 7 PM: Thanksgiving Dinner

Your typical Thanksgiving dinner, with vegetarian options as well, and enough pumpkin pie to feed us for weeks.

7 PM to 7:30 PM: Thanksgiving Gift Exchange

We’ll give our gifts to those for whom we’re most thankful.

7:30 PM to 9:30 PM: New York Giants @ Washington Racial Slurs

We’ll watch the Giants destroy the Racial Slurs while rooting for the Racial Slurs, because it’s Thanksgiving. This will also be the time designated for tryptophan naps and games.

9:30 PM - ???: Voyage to the Native(’s) Land

We’ll go to the casino, where we have rooms reserved. If you’d like to reserve a room for yourself and your party, you can do so by letting your host know.

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If you like this you might like these GCN Live radio talk shows: Free Talk Live, The Debbie Nigro Show, The Karel Show

Published in News & Information