Is retail therapy covered by health insurance?
I must be upfront and say the answer to this article’s title is, sadly, no.
However, I struggle to name few problems that can not at least temporarily be solved through retail therapy.
You know, that feeling of getting something new that boosts your self-esteem, makes everything feel brighter and creates a sense that the future is going to be okay. All of which can be achieved simply through having a free afternoon and a credit card. Bonus points if you do it online from home, while wearing fuzzy socks and a bathrobe.
Not to say that shopping is the ultimate longterm solution to life’s troubles, or that it should ever really be prescribed at all. Depending on the severity of your issues though (And your level of self-control), it can be a quicker and cheaper option to traditional talk therapy.
Having tried my hand at both forms, and been more resistant to the traditional version for obvious reasons, I can say that the results of both have been somewhat even.
The feeling of happiness which resulted from retail therapy was, as expected, temporary. It did have some positive effect down the road though, when the pieces purchased during my “Therapy session” were put to use in creating impeccable outfits.
Now, my history with traditional therapy is a little muddy. Having seen a handful of therapists in the past three years, I have had a few breakthroughs but failed to really connect with any one of them, due in part to my own resistance and other matters that were out of my control. Until recently, I had always looked at therapy as a waste of time. Since I have now dipped my toe back into the world of self-improvement, I am beginning to understand it’s benefits. Though I have only been to one session so far, I was proud of myself for going and really trying this time, which sequentially resulted in me feeling better about my situation and the things I was doing to improve it.
To get back to my point, shopping when you’re bummed out isn’t covered by health insurance (yet), but that doesn’t mean it should be forever labelled as a no-no.
You see, maybe the true satisfaction that comes from making purchases isn’t in what was purchased, but the actual fact that a purchase was made. So, this means there could be a way around the guilt of dropping a wad of cash on something, by using your gloom to make essential purchases. By doing this you’d be taking care of errands, acquiring necessary items (groceries, toilet paper, candles) and improving your mood at the same time.
Really though, if you can afford it, buy whatever you want. Your problems can wait for another day.
Just don’t tell your therapist I said that.