Buying things when depressed
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Shopaholism is the result of depression
Modern man turned out to be powerless before the temptations imposed by society, and addiction has become one of the most popular diagnoses made by psychiatrists. Alcohol, drugs, overeating, gadgets, social networks, and now also oniomania - in common parlance shopaholism. By the way, German experts have identified it as a mental disorder and are calling for the development of treatment methods to be started immediately. The situation is aggravated by the fact that online commerce, especially during the pandemic, has contributed to the activation of addiction (an obsessive need for certain activities), which brings problems to millions of people around the world. nine0004
Photo by Vitaly Pivovarchik
Oniomania - a painful need to go shopping without a clear intention to purchase a certain product, a desire to buy objectively unnecessary things, to see most of the goods for sale, depression without regular shopping. Among the reasons for the development of this disorder are depression, a feeling of loneliness, a need for recognition. It is also associated with the illusion of control over one's life, the illusion of power, the thirst for adrenaline and a low level of self-regulation. nine0005
An irresistible desire to buy something or spend money unnecessarily, for the sake of pleasure, for the sake of the buying process itself - this is shopaholism. The purchase of goods that, in fact, are not needed at all in the household, for an addicted person becomes recreation, entertainment, and almost the meaning of existence.
Ekaterina registered in one of the popular online stores several years ago. Not a day has gone by since then that she hasn't made a purchase. Let it be a trifle in the form of an eyeliner or a key ring, but Katya is ready to spend hours on the site to choose what she likes, and even at a bargain price. Promotional days have become a reason for the girl not to leave the house at all, because there is a risk of missing a good offer! nine0010
Photo by Alexander Kulevsky
— I am a social phobic to some extent, I hate walking around shopping centers, in a crowd of people, talking to sellers. And it’s a pity that the time spent on the road is , says Katya. — Therefore, for me, the opportunity to order clothes, shoes, household goods and much more on the Internet is just a gift from heaven. I didn’t notice how I got involved up to my ears: the morning starts with watching new products, during work I constantly go to the site from the phone, in the evenings I sit in my comfortable gamer’s chair, music plays, in parallel there is some movie in the open tab, and I throw it again selected items in the shopping cart. One day, knowing that the online store would announce a discount day, I did not sleep all night: I monitored offers, calculated something, and figured it out. As a result, I ordered so many unnecessary things - then I had to resell or give to my girlfriends. To be honest, I don't use most of what I buy. But I can’t stop and continue to fill the cabinets with things, the dressing table with cosmetics. I don't know why, but my mood even gets better when I shop online. This is a kind of relaxation for me ...
Pavel admits that he became a shopaholic after the divorce. Long months of depression somehow did not contribute to social activity, so even food, not to mention clothes and household goods, had to be ordered online:
- Gradually I got involved, now I don’t understand at all how it is to walk around hypermarkets with a cart, waste time and energy. When the pandemic began, I even began to justify myself: that’s what a fine fellow I am, I don’t hang out in a crowd of buyers, I just sit at home and non-stop monitor online goods. And not so long ago I came across a site for anglers - and away we go! I spend simply fantastic sums on equipment, spinning rods, ice screws, winter tents. At the same time, I have not gone fishing since last February. I took consumer loans a couple of times to have enough money for another online order…
— My friend Nastya is proud that she is a shopaholic, — says Marina from Minsk. — She is a frequenter of popular boutiques, she buys clothes that she wears a maximum of 1-2 times. Beautiful wealthy lady, leader in a small firm, lonely. On weekends, he goes to the shops, as if to work. Taking a selfie for Instagram: a happy young woman holding shiny shopping bags. She knows the names of all the saleswomen in the boutiques, it's a thrill for her to spend half a day in the fitting room. Chuck Palahniuk's novel "Fight Club" describes a classic version of shopaholism: due to insomnia and the daily routine at work, the main character began to buy furniture from catalogs non-stop. And my Nastya buys blouses, skirts, jeans, pullovers, hoodies, sneakers, sundresses ... Everyone has their own quirk. nine0025
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Researchers at the Hannover Medical School in Germany studied data from 122 patients who sought psychological help because they were too addicted to online shopping. In the process of monitoring patients, it turned out that they had significantly more pronounced symptoms of depression and increased anxiety. At the same time, scientists did not find a connection between the addiction to shopping and the gender, age or level of education of patients - representatives of different social groups were equally susceptible to the disorder, writes gazeta.ru. However, experts note that the results of other studies show that young people shop online a little more often. nine0005
Currently, unhealthy online shopping is not considered a separate disorder and is classified as an unspecified impulse control disorder in the International Classification of Diseases. This definition implies an intense desire to make purchases and receive goods. Shopaholics buy more goods than they can afford, clutter up houses and pile on loans, but they can't stop. And the Internet reduces labor costs for purchases to a minimum, makes the ordering process accessible and anonymous, which ultimately increases the risk of developing addiction. nine0005
“It is time to recognize shopaholism as a separate disorder and build up knowledge about how the Internet affects it, ,” says Dr. Astrid Müller, lead author of study . — Shopaholics buy things they don't need, don't use. Over-purchases become a tool for regulating emotions - for example, they are made in an attempt to gain pleasure or get rid of negative experiences. Moving shopping addiction into a separate category will allow doctors and researchers to develop specific treatments for this disorder. nine0025
Tatyana Ushakevich, head of the psychological department of the Minsk City Clinical Psychiatric Dispensary, believes that oniomania has many features in common with a behavioral disorder.
— You need to understand that a painful passion for shopping affects not only the wallet, but also the human psyche, — the specialist warns. — Like any other addiction, be it alcohol, drugs or gambling, shopaholism is the inability to cope with anxiety and stress. Such people do not have an adaptive mechanism, they tend to get away from reality and replace some things in their minds. There is an opinion that women are more prone to shopaholism, but in fact this is not so, this addiction has no gender overlaps. nine0025
How to understand that oniomania has covered you? Pay attention to your emotions and attitude towards money: when shopping goes beyond the rare purchase of things or simple knick-knacks to cheer up, it becomes dangerous - you start buying useless goods on a daily basis, sometimes remaining without money even for the necessary things. This is how clinical disorder manifests itself. However, this kind of addiction, unlike chemical addiction (drugs, alcohol), has a trap: since the passion for buying useless things does not affect health (but only financial well-being), a person does not realize the problem for a long time. It seems to him that you can tie at any moment. After all, it’s enough just not to turn on the computer, not to click on your favorite application on your smartphone, not to go to your favorite store. Alas, not everything is so simple. It’s worth getting a little discouraged or experiencing stress - and now you are again “walking” through the pages of discounted goods. nine0005
— If you have found all the “symptoms of the disease”, it will be extremely difficult to cope with it on your own, — warns Tatyana Ushakevich. — The problem is that shopping has replaced positive emotions for you that you are not able to experience from other, much more important and useful things that have left your life. For example, you feel like a lonely person after a breakup or experienced severe stress after losing a close relative. These are serious tests for the psyche. Therefore, the most competent decision for a shopaholic is to seek help from a psychologist. When treating oniomania, patients are advised to avoid shopping as much as possible, get rid of credit cards, go shopping with a list of necessary goods and keep track of expenses (today it is convenient to do this using SMS notifications about debiting funds from a bank card and information about the account balance ). In addition, unscheduled purchases of promotional goods or items from new collections are prohibited. It is very important to plan and research the market in order to forget about spontaneous purchases, and also to accustom yourself to the idea that even a discount of 90% is not a reason to buy a thing that is absolutely useless for you.
Photo by Ivan Yarivanovych
According to doctors from the health insurance company Techniker Krankenkasse of Lower Saxony, oniomania most often develops due to lack of attention, feelings of loneliness and inner emptiness, the need for recognition and love, as well as during periods of depression due to separation from a loved one.
Almost all shopaholics note:
♦ low level of self-regulation. Such people have a reduced ability to compensate for unfavorable personal characteristics in order to achieve their goal. In combination with individual preference for the object of purchase, this can create addiction;
♦ thirsty for adrenaline. The body quickly gets used to adrenaline and begins to need even larger doses of it. In the store, you can also get a dose of adrenaline - making a purchase decision and possible disappointment are microstresses; nine0005
♦ illusion of power. It is not so much things for personal consumption that are bought as certain attributes of power, including in the form of the attitude of sellers to the buyer: respect, helpful treatment, flattering praise, branded shopping bags;
♦ the illusion of freedom and control over one's life. Oniomania removes depression and anxiety from a shopaholic, increases self-esteem and self-confidence - he can buy what he wants now, and not what was recommended or what is simply necessary. And a person gets a feeling of freedom from shopping, even if he does not need things. nine0005
Psychiatrists recognize shopaholism as a disease - Gazeta.Ru
Shopaholism should be considered a separate mental disorder, German psychiatrists believe. With the advent of the ability to buy things via the Internet, it has grown to unprecedented proportions and brings serious problems to millions of people. Scientists hope that the recognition of this disorder will allow more effective study of it and the development of treatments.
Online shopping addiction should be regarded as a mental disorder, according to psychiatrists at the Hannover Medical School in Germany - for many people, the craving to buy things via the Internet has signs of compulsive behavior. They justified their position in an article in the journal Comprehensive Psychiatry. nine0005
Researchers studied data from 122 patients who sought psychological help because they were too addicted to online shopping. They had significantly more pronounced symptoms of depression and increased anxiety.
One third of the patients showed symptoms of addiction.
Scientists have not found a connection between the addiction to shopping and the sex, age or level of education of patients - representatives of different social groups were equally susceptible to the disorder. However, they note, the results of other studies show that young people shop online a little more often. nine0005
Unhealthy online shopping is not currently considered a separate disorder and is classified as an unspecified impulse control disorder in the ICD. This definition implies an intense desire to make purchases and receive goods. Shopaholics buy more goods than they can afford, clutter up houses and pile on loans, but they can't stop. And the Internet reduces labor costs for purchases to a minimum, makes the ordering process accessible and anonymous, which ultimately increases the risk of developing addiction. nine0005
Shopaholism affects not only the purse of an addict, but also his relationships with others - there is a great risk of quarreling with loved ones because of the abundance of purchases, thereby causing even more stress and ending up in a vicious circle.
"It's time to recognize shopaholism as a separate disorder and build up knowledge about how the Internet affects it,
," says Dr. Astrid Müller, lead author of the study. “Shopaholics buy things they don’t need, they don’t use. Over-purchases become a tool for regulating emotions - for example, they are made in an attempt to gain pleasure or get rid of negative experiences. nine0005
Moving shopping addiction into its own category will allow clinicians and researchers to develop specific treatments for the disorder, Müller explains.
"We hope that our findings showing the increase in online shopping addiction will spur further research to learn more about the characteristics of the disorder and find better ways to deal with it," she says.
“The euphoria of shopping is similar to the sensations of alcohol or drugs. In the short term, when your self-esteem drops, you feel insecure, shopping can help get rid of negativity. But dependence on it has many features in common with behavioral disorders, and it can seriously affect a person’s life, ”says Leon Marsh, director of a rehabilitation center for people with addictions. nine0005
When shopping goes beyond the rare purchase of trinkets to cheer up, it becomes dangerous - shopaholics daily buy useless goods, remaining without money even for the necessary things.
"It's definitely a real clinical disorder," he says.
Psychology professor Dr. Richard James notes that unhealthy gambling was only recognized as a disorder after 30 years of research. However, for shopaholism, such an array of data has not yet been accumulated. nine0005
“There's a whole debate about whether researchers are over-pathologising—that is, trying to cram something into an addiction that isn't,” he says. “You shouldn’t do this without thinking carefully.”
Shopaholism is also called oniomania. In Europe, this word has been used since the end of the 19th century, when the first symptoms of the disorder were identified. These include shopping without a clear intention to buy a particular item, wanting to buy things that are objectively unnecessary, looking at most items for sale, feeling depressed without going shopping regularly.