Oniomania (compulsive shopping, or what’s more commonly referred to as shopping addiction) is perhaps the most socially acceptable addiction. Think about it: We are surrounded by advertisements which tell us that buying will make us happy. I’m going to talk to you about shopping addiction in your teenager years during high school.
We are encouraged by politicians to spend as a way of boosting the economy. And, for some of us, there is an allure to wanting what everyone else seems to have. Consumerism, by our own intention or not (or a combination of both), has become a measure of social worth.
5 Things to Know About Shopping Addiction
- Although widespread consumerism has escalated in recent years, shopping addiction is not a new disorder. It was recognized as far back as the early nineteenth century and was cited as a psychiatric disorder in the early twentieth century.
- As with other addictions, shopping addiction is usually a way of coping with the emotional pain and difficulty of life, and it tends to make things worse rather than better for the shopper.
- Despite its long history, shopping addiction is controversial, and experts, as well as the public, disagree on whether shopping addiction is a real addiction or not.
- People who struggle with shopping addiction typically spend more time and money on shopping than they can afford, and many get into financial problems as a result of their overspending.
- Shopping addiction can involve both impulsive and compulsive spending, which both produce a temporary high. That being said, people who are addicted to shopping are often left feeling empty and unsatisfied with their purchases when they get home.
Compulsive vs. Impulsive Shopping
Impulse buying is an unplanned purchase that happens on the spur of the moment in reaction to the immediate desire to have something you see in a shop. Impulse buying is a little different from compulsive buying, which is typically more pre-planned as a way of escaping negative feelings. But again, people with a shopping addiction may engage in both types of addictive buying.
How to Cope With Shopping Addiction
Research indicates that around three-quarters of compulsive shoppers are willing to admit their shopping is problematic, particularly in areas of finances and relationships. Of course, this may reflect the willingness of those who participate in research to admit to having these (or any) problems.
Shopping addiction can be as distressing as any other addiction. But there is hope, and support from those around you can help you control your spending. Remember, you are a worthwhile person, no matter how much or how little you own.