Shopping addiction: symptoms, causes and treatment

We generally associate the concept of “addiction” with the use of a substance or narcotic that generates a physical reaction in our body. However, in the modern age, there is also another type of addiction that is associated with a certain activity like gambling, gambling, or work. There is no doubt that these latest trends are linked to the consumer society around us.

In this way, we will stick to the phenomenon of shopping addiction, Or more scientifically speaking, oniomania. The inability to control this desire to compulsively use is what gives it the label of addiction, given the high degree of addiction. Giving up acceptance of the problem and its corresponding resolution adds more weight to viewing this behavior as a phenomenon to be viewed like any other common illness.

How to detect shopping addiction?

Contrary to what it may seem at first glance, it is not so easy to determine or detect a person with this pathology. We live in a time called the “age of consumption”, where this activity is practiced as if it were a sport. We buy constantly, every day and at any time thanks to new technologies and distribution platforms.

Without going much further and avoiding complex explanations, shopping addiction is observed when the consumer loses all notion of real need when purchasing the productEven the absurdity of buying things that won’t even get out of the packaging. The user buys in order to buy; to be sad or happy; take advantage of the purchase process – especially by credit card -; be a relief when buying and a long symptom et cetera.

Causes that lead to addiction

It should be noted the explosion of businesses and businesses dedicated to sales via online platforms or applications on mobile devices perfectly suited to consumer demands. The immediacy and ease with which any product can be obtained worsens the degree of dependence of those who suffer from it. Today you can do your shopping at the supermarket.

Likewise, the main cause that responds to this shopping addiction does not differ too much from the classics: it generally responds to profiles of people with deep personal problems, depressive situations or even low self-esteem, especially among people who consume products. industrial quantities.

While it’s short and relatively easy to shop, it’s still a distraction time for anyone going through a bad emotional time. A depressed person is always looking for a time to disconnect from bad thoughts. Another element to take into account is that the profile most affected by shopping addiction is transmitted to young women.

Consequences and effects

The difficulties faced by people suffering from shopping addiction are no less. The first resentment is found in their own financial resources, necessary to meet basic daily expenses. It happens that some people forgo a good diet to cover material expenses.

From an emotional standpoint, the degrees of depression and sadness are extremely intense. The accumulation of unused items generates a suffocating sense of guilt. by not knowing where to hide the products, they become a reflection of the problem because they are in plain sight at all times.


As is generally the case with any pathology, the first step to be taken is the recognition that the subject has a shopping addiction. It is not without importance to recognize one’s own close and family circles in order to feel the psychological support. The environment must show real empathy and a willingness to help those affected. Therefore, collaboration between these actors will be essential.

Obviously, there are many other steps to be taken with the right treatment. Professional help is essential, but another exercise of will power lies in controlling consumption. For example, canceling trusted credit cards is a good way to go. In some banking companies, it is possible to restrict this type of service and / or product by limiting the amount of credit or consumer 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 shopping addiction, which in the United States alone, for example, has doubled in just over a decade, from 5% in 2007 to 10% in 2007. the total population.

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