Do you get a rush when you purchase something? When you swipe your credit card, use the stylus to hit "yes" on the machine, and then take your just-bought treasures in a glossy paper bag from the store clerk?
Scientifically, it's no surprise that we get this rush -- just like with any other pleasurable activity, shopping can spur the release of feel-good hormones in our brains, said Dr. James A. Roberts, Ph.D., a marketing professor and consumer culture expert at Baylor University and author of "Shiny Objects: Why We Spend Money We Don't Have in Search of Happiness We Can't Buy" (HarperOne, 2011).
"We used to think that [addiction comes] only [from] chemicals," Roberts told HuffPost. "We thought it had to be nicotine, alcohol, but we're finding that anything that produces pleasure in your brain has the potential to be addictive."
And for Black Friday in particular, our "getting while the getting is good" mentalities are activated, said Dr. April Lane Benson, Ph.D., a psychologist, expert in treating compulsive buying disorder, and author of "To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop" (Trumpeter, 2008).
"Whether we need something or not, the thrill of the hunt, the excitement of getting the best deal, the idea that someone else may be getting it and then we'll lose out are all operative here," Benson told HuffPost. "We also like the idea that we've got our shopping done early ... but in so many cases, the Black Friday shopping just releases the logjam and gives us license to keep on spending until the doors finally close on Christmas Eve."
Losing self-control when it comes to shopping can lead to debt and other financial ruin. Whether you are a full-blown shopping addict or you just have a hard time resisting a good deal, here are some tips for keeping your overspending and overbuying in check this Black Friday, the holiest of shopping holidays.