My Indecisive Compulsive Disorder (ICD)

My name is Mikinzie and I have a problem.

I am one  of the many shopoholics that compulsively purchases clothing, makeup, shoes, and accessories in excess. In this day and age it is fairly normal, or at least popular, among the fairer sex. I mean, they even made a movie about it; curiously enough starring a redheaded writer with an out-of-control spending habit. Hmmmm, sound familiar?

However, I have a rare condition. It is because of this condition that I consider myself to be in an advanced stage of shopoholism. I enjoy the high of spending beyond my means like my fellow shopaholics, but I then have a compulsion to take it back for a return. Sometimes its a week later, sometimes its a day later, and sometimes its even 20 minutes later.

It is a condition that causes me and my loved ones much mental anguish. Some say its even border-line insanity. I have a condition called Indecisive Compulsive Disorder (ICD).  Contrary to popular belief, it is not just the general state of indecisiveness, but the state of indecisiveness on a much grander scale.

ICD not ONLY means not knowing what to order on a menu, keeping those eating with you waiting for your decision, BUT when you finally do decide, you change at the last minute from having decision made back to a state of “I-don’t-know.” (A scenario that I have learned to avoid by giving the helpless waitress a few choices and then making HER decide for me).

ICD does not necessarily stem from my shopoholism, but adds to the severity of my shopping addiction. Take for instance today: I was shopping at one of my favorite clothing stores, Express, and got a deal that allowed me both 20 dollars off the total amount and 20% off of the remaining amount. In other words, I was high on the thrill of the Spend n’ Save rollercoaster. I had purchased two pairs of editor shorts (one in black, one in white), a cardigan, and a t-shirt (already on sale: triple bonus!).

After my super-savings fantasia, I shopped around the mall a bit more and had the challenging task of picking out suitable attire at Banana Republic for my young, fun, but-fashionably clueless –or maybe a better word would be “careless”– 29-year-old track coach, Steve. Since he had a $70 gift card and no idea what to spend it on, I was on a mission to find something so casually cool that even a fashionably aloof guy such as Steve wouldn’t be able to resist checking himself out in the window (which I do all the time. Another vice, I know). After many trying attempts and many refusals of my exhaustive request to “just spend it on me ,” we finally hit success with a navy blue half-zip and two timeless t’s (a stunning red to compliment his Italian ethnicity and a charcoal grey ringer t). I think I was more thrilled than he was.

Being entranced by the aspect of picking clothes out for someone, I hadn’t realized the symptoms of my disorder until we left the store. Then it hit me: I needed to take back the white pair of editor shorts.

“They aren’t practical.”

“But they look stunning with the red shirt (with fabulous white, black, and metallic accents) I just bought.”

“Doesn’t matter. I am marching in there and taking them back.”

“But I they are so in for spring and summer.”

“Just put one foot in front of the other”

“Thatta girl….”

And so I returned them. Meanwhile, still trying to figure out whether I had made the right decision in doing so, I watched the sales associate staple the return receipt to my original receipt. I shuffled out of the store with my head hung low, a mild form of post-return depression coming on. That’s when I actually LOOKED at the reciept. I had only paid $32.46 for a pair of $44.50 pair of shorts! What a deal!

That’s when the panic hit me. I was stuck in limbo and actually turned towards the store, then back around, then back towards the store again. I wanted to march back into Express and demand that they resell me those shorts! How dare they not explain to me what a bargain I was missing out on! However, I considered, they may call security to escort me out of the store in a straitjacket, for both my sake and theirs.

After turning round and round in circles, I admitted defeat and dragged my feet away from the store’s entrance. If I hadn’t been shopping with three other people on this particular occasion, I probably would have continued to chase my tail like a dog until I collapsed from dizziness.

I like to think that my case of ICD is due to the fact that I am of a slight-perfectionist nature and absolutely dread making the wrong decision. Most times, in order to avoid making a wrong decision, a decision is just simply not made. This then results in my post-return depression from the lost opportunity. Then it just becomes an ever-evolving vicious cycle until I am exhausted from mentally running around in circles.

Call me crazy, but I think I might be on to something.

8 responses to “My Indecisive Compulsive Disorder (ICD)

  1. Hey, I got the same thing. I was just wondering whether I should go out tonight, and in a matter of seconds, the few options were weighed and felt too exhausting to deal with. Just the ideas become exhausting. It’s like being stuck in gear for fear that I might do the wrong thing. But thanks for clarifying that point, that all it is is a fear of making the wrong decision, future regrets.

  2. i agree.

  3. Hey.. Glad I came across your post. I have a major case of indecisiveness myself which has been driving me more than crazy lately. I was self diagnosing it as some sort of anxiety disorder till now. Still trying to get to its depth and understand if it needs treatment. The symptoms are pretty incapacitating at times and start getting in the way of everyday living.

    I have the shopping problem myself. But I have nailed it by not getting into impulsive purchases, since I almost always want to return it after 10 minutes of making the payment.

    Lately, have been struggling to move to a new house and just cant seem to make up my mind. The very house that seems perfect to me seems like a big mistake a few minutes/hours later, and the cycle goes back to the beginning and so on… 30 houses reviewed and I am still trying to make up my mind.

    Phew.. could it be a Gemini thing ?

  4. Sounds like me. I’m debating whether or not to return a pair of shoes that I bought on sale for $12 and also used a 20% coupon on to make even cheaper… but DO I NEED THEM? I CAN’T DECIDE! Argh! Glad I’m not the only one.

  5. I have the same thing am 16. When am at the mall and have money, I don’t know what to get and I don’t get anything because am still thinking if I should get it or not and when I leave I say I want it and then say I don’t and I never know what to do. I am also a perfectionist. I also think I have something but doctors won’t take it seriously. I am also undecisive toward tests even though i get them right, i think about it too much because of my undecisiveness.

  6. Stumbled across this looking for info to help my indecisive daughter. It is a real problem. In your case, I wonder how you can make a buying decision without knowing the price? Most purchasing dilemmas stem from whether you are getting the best product for the price or the best price for the product. It’s like you don’t even know whether you want to make any purchase in the first place.

  7. Finally found a person who has the same disorder as myself :-|

  8. I’m not alone!!! Gah! I feel like this controls my life. I was once at a point where it was dangerous for me to drive because of how indecisive I was being. Just a question, have you been medically evaluated and were given this diagnosis?

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