Shopping addiction is a disorder characterized by both impulsive and compulsive shopping. The condition goes by different names, including compulsive shopping disorder, pathological buying, and oniomania, among others.
Most of the time, people suffering from compulsive shopping disorder feel the urge to shop to mask feelings of anxiety or depression. Otherwise, they might engage in compulsive shopping because they cannot control their impulses appropriately.
Splurging now and then is not harmful for most people. It is not a crime for one to treat themselves every once in a while. However, if the need to splurge is uncontrollable and beyond financial means, it might indicate a deeper problem.
Compulsive buying disorder can have adverse effects on one’s life. Individuals suffering from this disorder might find themselves in crippling debt. In addition, the behavior might harm their relationship with loved ones.
There are several categories of shopping addiction, which include:
Emotional distress shoppers mostly shop to appease their emotions. These emotions might be feelings of anxiety or depression.
This nature of shopping creates a vicious cycle, as the shoppers tend to feel better during and immediately after shopping. But after a while, the anxiety and depression creep in, and they need to shop again.
Trophy shoppers are never satisfied with what they have. They are always looking for the perfect item.
Suppose they are lovers of interior décor; they might never find the perfect chandelier or flower vase. They are perpetual shoppers looking for that item to solve all their problems
Flashy shoppers are visible everywhere. They are people who only shop for designers, and every time they have something new, they ensure everyone knows.
These types of shoppers never get satisfied with what they have. Instead, they want everyone to know they have the latest luxury item. Social media does not help either.
Bargain shoppers love discounts. When they are online or walk into a physical store, they cannot help themselves when they see deals being offered. Even if they do not need the item or have not budgeted for it, they have the compulsive urge to get it.
Bulimic shoppers are shoppers who are never satisfied with what they buy. When in the store, they are convinced they need the item.
But upon getting home, they realize they are no longer obsessed with the product. So they return it and again feel the urge to have the item or something else.
Collector shoppers are sentimental and might show symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder. They shop for items to complete given sets and setups.
For instance, if shopping for plates, they might feel the need to buy extra plates to have complete sets of given color or design. That might replicate all utensils in the kitchen.
Compulsive Buying Disorder is mostly a cover-up for a more insistent problem underneath. For example, individuals dealing with oniomania might shop to cover up their feelings of depression and anxiety. They might also engage in such addictive behavior to improve their self-esteem or obsessive compulsion.
Oniomania can be a mental health issue, but it might also indicate another mental problem. It is, therefore, essential to seek professional help. A professional will help determine whether it is a behavioral disorder or another underlying issue.
While shopping is not a problem, it can be catastrophic when it starts running off the rails. The following are some of the signs that can be indicative of a compulsive buying disorder:
These are just symptoms. People showing these behavioral patterns should visit a professional. Professionals can help diagnose if they are genuinely suffering from oniomania. Then, they might learn that they have a deeper problem, and the professional will help them appropriately.
Compulsive shopping disorder is a treatable condition. Working with a mental health professional can be incredibly helpful for treatment. Trained mental and behavioral professionals help teach people healthy coping skills and help manage symptoms.
There are several therapies that can help with addressing oniomania. If the problem is diagnosed as a behavioral issue, cognitive behavioral therapy can help. This approach helps people learn their triggers and manage their impulses better.
Compulsive buying disorder is treated like other types of behavioral addiction, like substance abuse, gambling addiction, and sex addiction. Addiction treatment can vary depending on an individual’s case.
Here are some steps that can help manage shopping addiction:
If the healthcare professional finds that there is another underlying condition, additional treatment can be used to address the core issue.
For people who suffer from compulsive shopping disorder, there are options for trying to overcome the habit. Checking into an addiction treatment center is one of them.
New Method Wellness is here to help you address your compulsive shopping addiction. We are an established mental health facility that has been operating for over a decade and a half. Our compassion has helped us guide many people through addiction treatment.
No matter the kind of addiction you have, whether it’s a drug addiction, alcohol addiction, or shopping addiction, we can help you or your loved one get the treatment they need. We use more than fourteen clinical therapies and more than twelve ancillary therapies.
Contact us today to learn more about our program. Our team of professionals can help you find the treatment that can help get you out of your compulsive disorder.
Deanna Crosby is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) with over 20 years of experience working with clients in recovery. Her expertise has catapulted her into the spotlight. Featured on several episodes of the Dr. Phil Show as a mental health expert, DeAnna is a routine contributor for NBC News, The Huffington Post, Elle Magazine, MSN, Fox News, Yahoo, Glamour, Today, and several other prominent media outlets.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree from the University of California in Irvine, Crosby did postgraduate work at Centaur University where she graduated at the top of her class with a CAADAC certification in Centaur’s chemical dependency program. Following her time at Centaur, Crosby received her Master of Counseling Psychology degree from Pacifica Graduate Institute, where she also attained a Doctoral Degree in Depth Psychology.
From all of us at New Method Wellness co-occurring treatment center, we wish you peace and serenity in knowing that you or your loved one will get the necessary help.