Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

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St. Joseph's Care Group

St. Joseph's Care Group


Problem Gambling & Behavioural Addictions Program



What is it?

Many people run into problems when they realize they have spent too much for the month, when the bill comes. Those people who spend habitually, however, often do it to fulfill a void in their lives, to deal with stress, or to help them ease depression or anxiety. This spending behavior causes problems in relationships, finances, emotional and physical health and more. These types of problematic spending might look like this:

  • Shopping to distract from feelings “I shop when I’m stressed and I always feel better.”
  • Goal oriented shopping - finding that perfect outfit or accessory to distract from feelings
  • Trying to maintain a “wealthy” image ie. always picking up the tab with friends, expense clothes, home decorations/renovations
  • Hunting for the best deals and buying even when you don’t need things, things pile up at home.
  • Shopping for others, buying presents to gain affection or approval
  • Collecting many different items distracts focus and attention from stress or depression
Save or Spend
Save or Spend
Should I be concerned about my spending habits?

Shopaholics (Spenders) Anonymous suggests that you ask yourself the following questions if you are wondering about your own overspending. If you answer “yes” to many of these questions, you may need help to make some positive changes.

Overspending Questionnaire
Overspending Questionnaire
  • Are you preoccupied with using the Internet? Do you think about your previous or future online activity?
  • Do you conceal the extent of your Internet usage from your therapist, family or others?
  • Do you have the need to be online longer to be satisfied?
  • Have you made repeated but unsuccessful attempts to cut back, stop or control your Internet use?
  • Do you become moody, restless, irritable or depressed when you stop or decrease your Internet use?
  • Is your time spent online longer than what you originally planned?
  • Did your online use negatively affect a significant relationship, education, career or job?
  • Does the Internet serve as an escape from problems or relief from a bad mood?

If you would like to begin to make changes, please contact us.


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Supported by: The North West Local Health Integration Network of Ontario