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Old 02-26-2004  
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Default Shopping Anxiety

Greetings! I'm trying to write an article about shopping anxiety, does anyone suffer from any palpitation, sweating, etc. when they go into big department stores? I would really really appreciate people's stories, and of course I do not expect people to give me their real names, but it would be great if you could share your experiences for me. My email address is margotes@yahoo.com if you want to contact me directly.

Best wishes.
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Old 02-26-2004  
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Hi Margotess,
Big stores, little stores, I get all of those emotions, and they are worse when I am standing at the checkout. (I think because that's one of the biggest areas for "staring" going on.) The fear of those emotions happening is worse at a big store, like Walmart, and I think it's because at most areas inside the store, there are no doors, and no windows, so I feel as if I am trapped inside with all the people & when I begin to become panicky, or if I am in anyone's way, or they jett out in front of me with or without their carts I begin to feel as if I can't breathe, various parts of my body will **** and I feel as if I am going explode if I don't get out and OUT QUICK! And I've done just THAT, I have already left items behind that I wanted to buy and just left, and went home. I love the selection & prices at Walmart, but I never just shop, look around, or compare prices. I only go there for something I save a good bit of money on, or something I am only able to get there, and I dash in, gets the item(s) and dash out even faster. I am able to cope a lot better if I go there in the middle of the night when there are far less people there, the only problem with that is they stock the shelves at night and it's hard to get around and even get to some of the items you want. If it wasn't for the phenomenal shipping and handling charges, I would order everything I need from the internet.

My sister invited me to a movie, and being aware of my disorders, asked me if I would be okay, or how I thought I'd do, and I TRIED to explain to her, that is another one of these curse's disgusting features, we never really KNOW how we are going to be! I told her that sometimes I can be in a crawded area and I'm fine, and other times I can go beserk with only a few people around, and then I went on to ask her how SHE would be and if SHE could handle it if I did freak out and humiliate her, so the more important question is if SHE would be okay.

It really REEKS. :cry:
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Old 02-26-2004  
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Default Re: Shopping Anxiety

Yep, I've felt that, I actually had to leave a Mervin's one time. I was with my best friend, she was out here on the west coast visiting, and we were shoppin at Mervin's..

I had remembered that a friend of mine got accused of stealing in there and he went to court and got money from it because Mervin's was wrong. So I started obsessing about that in my head, i was already having feelings of inadequacy anyway, and on top of those feelings, I was freaking out thinking that the management was watching me. I obsessed aobut this SO much in my head that I started to freak out and sweat and felt so dizzy that I had to walk out of there and wait outside by the bike racks. I had to calm down the best I could and walked back in and found my friend and I was still nervous.

But, I have made leaps and bounds of progress since then ..thank god. I'm fine in stores now. I'm just about to go shopping with my sister actually.

Email me if you want to know how I got over it/am getting over it/sp/etc.

s_j_fernandes@hotmail.com


Quote:
Originally Posted by Margotess
Greetings! I'm trying to write an article about shopping anxiety, does anyone suffer from any palpitation, sweating, etc. when they go into big department stores? I would really really appreciate people's stories, and of course I do not expect people to give me their real names, but it would be great if you could share your experiences for me. My email address is margotes@yahoo.com if you want to contact me directly.

Best wishes.
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Old 02-26-2004  
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Default An inferno I must live with instead of being homeless.

There are times when I am fine shopping and can be hours at a store without too many phobia problems. In some cases I am feeling okay at first and towards the middle of my shopping, I start feeling self-conscious, every one’s eyes on me, and feeling as if I cannot breath. At others I get into a ball of nerves the moment I get into my car to go shopping. The latter happened to me in my most recent shopping experience. Before I even entered the store I felt all the muscles in my body tense up. I tried several times to take deep breaths, without any positive results. My body was so tense and my mind was panicking. I felt that everyone could sense my discomfort. I just wanted to leave my husband there and run to our car. But I kept telling myself that everything would be okay, that it was all in my mind. My tension did not subside until after I was inside the car and on my way home. :oops:
As for shopping over the internet, my experiences have not always been that great. Not because of my social phobia, but because of the quality of the products. There are a few companies out there that try to be true with their products. Though in others, their description of the product is not what you pay for and get. Whenever I encounter any company like this, I simply never shop with them again. The main reason that I keep going to shopping centers is that you can actually see, feel, and really know what you are paying for. This is true especially when you are shopping for clothing, books, furniture, etc…etc…. My husband and I work hard for our money and do not like to trash it. For this reason I will continue to shop in actual stores with or without social phobia. :twisted: If the majority of internet or catalog sites get there act together and stop being so dishonest, maybe I will be more willing to shop over the internet.
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Old 03-25-2004  
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I know all about this one. I've had to try to live with this for 15 years. It got so bad at one time that just the thought of having to go into a shop was enough to give me terrible sweating and a real dread. The worst part for me was and still is the check-out. I dread there being anything wrong with what I'm buying like the price not being available or the receipt roll running out or my credit card taking ages to be accepted. When I'm at the check-out I feel so trapped and I become very flustered and have awful panic attacks. When this happens I can't get out quick enough and afterwards I usually become very depressed with myself even being reduced to tears.
I don't know if this what you were after, you can e-mail me if you want any more information
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Old 03-29-2004  
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Default shopping phobia(s)

Does anyone ever get anxious/stressed/phobic when you are shopping and feeling as if you are in other people's ways, or annoying them? For instance, if you are looking at something on the shelf, comparing prices, deciding what brand or size to select and you know someone is waiting and wanting to be where you are, does it make you phobic & cause you to stress? I know I have just as much right to shop as anyone else and just as much right to make someone wait as they have to make me wait, but yet, I still go over the edge feeling as if I don't belong and that I am in people's ways. In fact, it's got to the point that if someone is close behind me in an aisle, I'll skip to the next one and go back to the one I was in LATER to get what I needed from it. If someone "huffs" because they are impatient and they think I'm taking too long, I've had it, I can't even finish getting everything I wanted to get and I check out.... and I'm very reluctant to ever go back! And, I never "take a ticket" to get cuts of meat or deli food.. no way! Does anyone aviod saving/using coupons like me because you just want to get in and out of the store as quickly as you possibly can? And most important, how do you feel about the impatient person/people that "huffed" at you thinking you were taking to long, or the ones that you feel gave you a "dirty look"..... did you feel you deserved it, wounded, hurt, belittled, or mad, did you want some sort of revenge? I've experienced BOTH. I've already very timidly and SARCASTICLY said to people: "I'm so sorry for annoying you, but sometimes I need things from the store and find I MUST replace them."

Did you ever have a tired, over worked, or "just don't want to be here" cashier snap at you and cause you to feel ASHAMED for needing the things you've bought?

Sometimes, a lot of times actually, I have got so overwhealmed while shopping that I need to stand dead still in my tracks with my eyes shut, hoping all the while that when I reopen them, everyone will be gone. Some times, many of them ARE and then I can carry on.
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Old 03-30-2004  
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Wow, I just sent THIS email to Walmart!
Earlier today, I was publicly HUMILIATED when one of the items I PURCHASED was NOT SCANNED by the cashier and caused the alarm to sound at the exit. I realize that retail theft is a very serious problem and that precautions need to be observed to prevent it, but NOT at the expense of INNOCENT customers. I have Social Anxiety Disorder, Agoraphobia, as well as some other disorders that require therapy and medication to control, and the remedies are NOT A CURE and not always 100% effective. I need to gain strength and courage to even drive, park, and enter your store and when something like this incident happens, it causes an acute setback and frankly, I am disgusted and very angry. I told the man checking through MY items how I felt as well as the store's assistant manager, which also demanded A LOT of courage on my part, but I needed to speak up for myself, as well as all the other innocent shoppers that are attacked unjustly by your theft prevention techniques! I didn't even receive an apology from either one of these two people! Firstly, to be unjustly "accused" in public of theft and have customers, vendors, the store personell, etc. coming in and leaving the store gawking at you is BEYOND humiliating, and furthermore, it's defamation of my character. To have your checkers go through MY personal belongings that I purchased and paid for, that legally BELONG TO ME without a search warrant is against the law. I really do like the selection and prices at Walmart, but after what happened to day, I made up my mind never to go back again, but then I had a better idea, I am going to face my fears and RETURN like I did today, and if that alarm/checker falsely accuses me of theft again, I am going to make an outrageous scene, and I will be getting a lot more attention than people just thinking I'm guilty of theft. I realize the police will undoubtably be involved and the incident will likely make the news, and I may even be ON TELEVISION SUFFERING A PANIC ATTACK..and SO BE IT! Let the world see first hand exactly how people suffer with disorders and how everyone is humiliated by your insulting way of dealing with theft... something needs to take place to change this HORRID system that you have.
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Old 03-31-2004  
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Hi, everyone!

Solo1,
That sounds so frustrating. What an embarrassing experience?!? Did the guards say, "I'm sorry. There must be something wrong with our detector?" I hope they at least did that.

-Orl
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Old 03-31-2004  
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Hi Orlando

Nope, no apologies....And I still haven't heard a thing from WalMart's corporate headquarters where I sent the email to. The store's assistant manager said the cashier would be reprimanded for not scanning or descanning, (decoding?) what ever it is they are required to do, but I DON'T WANT THE CASHIER REPRIMANDED, that is only humiliating another person, and accomplishing nothing, what I want is their system of thievery changed to quit humiliating/emotionally damaging the innocent! And if it's going to require me to do what I threatend in the email, I will do it, even though the thoughts of it alone absolutely terrorizes me! :cry:
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Old 04-16-2004  
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My outdoor experiences are few and far between as i tend to stay at home most of the time but there is one defining moment that happened when i went out for the first time in a while to do a shop in quite a large grocery store. I was trying to decide which washing powder to buy but could figure whether to buy liquid or tablets, powder or sachets and which brand and some were on offer and it all got very confusing. I likened it at the time to the scene from the Matrix where the shelves of guns appear (for those who've seen this film it should make sense) The aisle i was on seemed enormous, almost never ending, and all the bold packaging looked like it was moving and the shelves looked like they were leaning inwards, over my head. I felt sick and the smell from all the powders wasn't helping. I got sweaty and could feel my heartbeat racing and then the tears started.
Luckily for me, i wasn't out on my own and my boyfriend was waiting in line at the deli counter so he was able to take control but it was a horrendous experience.

Also, this Christmas just gone i had placed an order for a keyboard for my daughter as her main gift but it hadn't arrived, and didn't look like it was going to so i ventured into town with my sister. We went to Toys'r'us and browsed the shelves. We were doing okay and then the assistant (who granted, was only doing his job) came over and started asking questions about what keyboard we were after and what it was for etc... then he went into overdrive with specifications of each keyboard but i couldn't hear him after the first few words; i could see his mouth moving and i was nodding but i was far more award of the trickles of sweat running down my back and how flush my face was going. I tried to tell him that i was okay just looking and eventually got out of the situation by saying i would call home to get a second opinion (my poor boyfriend must have thought it was a prank call with me breathing deeply to catch my breathe.) I ended up leaving the store just a few minutes later, tears again streaming down my face and my sister wondering what the hell was wrong.

I've found i also fumble at the checkout and panic if i can't pack my bags quick enough, worrying what the people waiting in the queue will be thinking... i suspect they are thinking absolutely nothing but that doesn't ease the feeling at all :(
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