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Black Friday is coming: 4 reasons that turn person into shopaholic

Black Friday is coming: 4 reasons that turn person into shopaholic Who are shopaholics and how addiction occurs (Photo: freepik_com)

To love the shopping process is normal because purchases and updates bring joy and pleasant emotions. But it's terrible when the passion for shopping begins to grow from entertainment into pathology. Sales and promotions, such as Black Friday, often contribute to this.

What turns a person into a shopaholic, the main signs of such pathology, and what can be done, RBC-Ukraine explains, according to Medium.

Who are shopaholics?

Shopaholism has a medical term - oniomania. This term was first proposed by the German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin in the late 19th century. This term refers to a person's pathological need for constant shopping. Such dependence often leads not only to financial problems but also to conflicts in the family, at work, and psychological discomfort.

Shopping addiction is a behavioral addiction that includes compulsive shopping as a way to feel good and avoid negative feelings such as anxiety and depression. Like other behavioral addictions, shopping addiction can turn into distress, leading to problems in other areas of life.

Why does shopping addiction arise?

According to Professor Ruth Engs from Indiana University, some people develop a shopping addiction because they essentially become dependent on how their brain feels during shopping.

When they make purchases, their brain releases endorphins and dopamine, and these feelings later cause addiction. Engs notes that 10 to 15% of the population may have such an addiction.

Chemicals of good mood are released in the brain, and the person feels good, and in the future, they will seek to repeat this feeling. This is the basis of many addictions.

The truth is that a shopaholic often suffers from emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem (desire for approval from others), and sometimes has a dependence on other psychoactive substances, such as internet addiction, alcohol, and gambling.

A shopaholic has a deep sense of materialism and believes that affection, attention, and admiration can be bought. With their purchases, they try to fill a huge internal gap.

4 important factors:

Stress and emotional tension. Purchases become a way to cope with stress or negative emotions.

Low self-esteem. A person may buy things to boost their self-esteem or create an image of a successful person.

The need for new experiences and adrenaline. Purchases bring joy and euphoria.

Influence of society and advertising. They can shape the belief that owning material goods guarantees success and happiness.

Signs of shopaholism

There are several types of shopping dependency:

  1. The shopaholic who maintains an image of extravagant spending loves expensive and luxurious items.
  2. Bargain hunters who buy unnecessary things because they are on sale.
  3. Compulsive shopaholics who shop under emotional stress.
  4. Collectors who feel incomplete without having one item of each color or each part of a set.
  5. Buyers suffering from bulimia enter a vicious cycle of buying and returning.

You are definitely a shopaholic if you have these symptoms:

  • You often buy things you don't need or don't plan to buy.
  • You are easily tempted by things you can do without, such as a sixth candle in the bedroom closet or a new iPod case, even if everything is fine with your current ones.
  • You are particularly vulnerable if you admit to having a "compulsive idea," such as the latest designer shoes or bags. The fact that your expenses tend to stick to one category does not make them more rational.
  • You feel a strong desire to shop. You need to go shopping even if you don't need anything. Only after making a purchase do you feel good again, but your mind compels you to shop again, and after that, you experience satisfaction. This is a sign of a strong shopping addiction.
  • If you can't buy what you want, you feel like something is missing or sad.

For example, you see a lovely dress you believe should be yours. The inability to buy it causes pain, and you look for ways to make that purchase. Once satisfied, you immediately find a new unattainable goal.

  • You have many unopened products in your closet. We're not talking about dresses your aunt gave you last holiday, but about things you chose, never opened, or with tags.
  • You feel anxious on days when you don't go shopping.

It's natural to feel that something is missing if you skip your morning coffee, but if you feel anxious because you haven't gone shopping all day, it's time to worry.

  • Disappointment can trigger the desire to shop.
  • You feel regret or guilt after making a purchase. Many shopaholics feel a sense of joy when making purchases. Still, their feelings quickly dissipate, leaving them with shame, guilt, and disappointment because they cannot control their spending habits.
  • 10. You try to hide your shopping habits.
  • If you hide shopping bags in your daughter's closet or constantly look around to see if colleagues are passing by while you shop online in the office, it's a sign that you are spending money at the expense of your family or close ones.
  • 11. You spend more than you can afford.

Your shopping behavior may lead to debt. Perhaps your shopping behavior hinders you from saving or achieving financial goals.

What to do for shopaholics?

Ruth Engs notes that, first and foremost, it is necessary to address the underlying issues - find the cause of shopaholism and eliminate it. Since this is an emotional problem, the antidote is emotional healing.

This may take time, patience, attention, and love, as the problem can only be solved slowly. Social connection with other people, healthy entertainment, positive reinforcement, and behavioral therapy are needed.

Psychologists also recommend:

Practice mindfulness. Pay attention to the thoughts and feelings that lead to uncontrolled purchases.

Develop stress management skills. This can include relaxation, meditation, and physical activity.

Engage in financial planning. Create your budget and control your expenses and income. This will prevent unnecessary purchases.

Seek alternative sources of satisfaction. These include hobbies, sports, socializing with friends, reading, art, and handmade crafts.