Are you addicted to retail therapy? The Huffington Post recently performed a survey of 1,000 U.S. residents online and found that 1 out of 3 Americans shop to relieve stress. That statistic accounts for 91% of the general population.

Women are also more inclined to shop away anxiety than men. “[The survey] found that women were twice as likely as men to use retail therapy as a way to cope with stress (40 percent vs. 19 percent). And in turn, men were more than twice as likely as women (34 percent vs. 16 percent) to say that they had never shopped out of stress and would never consider doing so in the future.”

Shopping when stressed can become just as much of an addiction as drugs, food or alcohol. Shopping releases endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in your brain, when you make a purchase and bring home a new item. But like most temporary mood lifters, shopping can easily turn sour leading to issues like hoarding, credit card debt and financial instability.

What’s worse? Shopping while in a state of depression or anxiety can cause you to make bigger purchases than you would when you are calm and thinking rationally. And shopping via technology (iPads, iPhones and laptops) makes it easier and more convenient to shop with abandon.

Shopper Darleen Meier told HuffPost Women in 2011: “”It was so easy to lose track of how much I was spending. At the high point, I was getting boxes delivered to my doorstep every single day of the week. It was time to stage an intervention.”

Meier is not alone as many women find online shopping even more addictive (and delivery workers can vouch for it).

Are you struggling with an affinity for retail therapy? Check out tips to curb your addiction here.

What do you think of the results of the shopping study, Clutchettes? Are you surprised?

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