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Shopping addiction: symptoms, causes and treatment

Shopping addiction: symptoms, causes and treatment

September 15, 2022

Generally we associate the concept of 'addiction' to the consumption of some substance or narcotic that generates a physical reaction in our body. However, in the modern era there is also another type of addiction that corresponds to a certain activity such as random games, bets or work. Undoubtedly these latest trends have to do with the consumer society that surrounds us.

In this sense, we will stick to the phenomenon of shopping addiction , or more scientifically spoken, of the oniomania. The inability to control this desire to consume compulsively is what gives the label of addiction, given the high degree of dependence. To renounce the acceptance of the problem and its corresponding resolution, adds more weight to consider this behavior as a phenomenon to be taken into account like any other common disease.

How to detect addiction to purchases?

Unlike what may seem at first glance, it is not so easy to determine or detect a person with this pathology. We live in an era known as the "era of consumption", where this activity is practiced as if it were a sport. We buy permanently, every day and at any time thanks to new technologies and distribution platforms.

Without going much further and avoiding complex explanations, Addiction to purchases is observed when the consumer loses any notion of real need when purchasing the product , even reaching the absurdity of buying things that will not even be taken out of the packaging. The user buys to buy; being sad or happy; enjoy the purchase process -especially by credit cards-; feel relief when making the purchase and a long list of symptoms.

Causes that lead to addiction

It is worth highlighting the explosion of companies and companies dedicated to selling through online platforms or even applications in mobile devices that have been perfectly adapted to the demands of the consumer. The immediacy and ease with which you can obtain any product, aggravates the degree of addiction of those who suffer it. Nowadays you can buy the supermarket.

Likewise, the main cause that responds to this addiction to purchases is not distinguished in excess of conventional ones: it generally responds to profiles of people with deep personal problems, situations of depression or even low self-esteem, especially in individuals who consume textile products in Industrial quantities.

Although it is brief and relatively easy to make purchases, it is still a time of distraction for anyone who is going through an emotional blip. A moment to disconnect from bad thoughts is what an individual in a depressed state always looks for. Another element that we have to take into account, is that the profile most affected by the addiction to shopping, happens in young women.

Consequences and effects

The difficulties faced by people with addiction to shopping are not minor . The first resentment is found in their own economic resources, necessary to meet the basic expenses for day to day. It has been the case that some individuals renounce a good diet in order to meet the material expenses.

From the emotional point of view, the degrees of depression and sadness are extremely intense. The accumulation of unused objects generates a suffocating guilt. By not knowing where to hide the products, they become the reflection of the problem as they are visible at all times.


As it usually happens with any pathology, the first step to take is the recognition that the subject has with the addiction to purchases . It is not trivial to recognize it to the own relatives and relatives to feel the psychological support. The environment must show a real empathy and willingness to help the affected. Thus, collaboration between these actors will be fundamental.

Obviously, the correct treatment must be accompanied by many other measures. The help of a professional is essential, but another exercise of willpower lies in the control of consumption. For example, canceling fiduciary credit cards is a good method to follow. In some banking companies there is the possibility of restricting this type of services and / or products by limiting the amount of credit or consumption facilities.

Finally, we must take into account the increase of this problem in the global world, especially in Western societies. Some studies show a clear trend towards addiction to purchases, which in the United States alone, for example, have doubled in less than a decade, from 5% in 2007 to 10% of the total population.

Compulsive shopping (September 2022).

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