Technology has made it easier for us to shop ‘till we drop while relaxing at home. Though the convenience is certainly helpful for many, it has led to the rise of shopping addiction – a new mental disorder that often goes undiagnosed because most people don’t see it as a health problem.
Compulsive Buying Disorder is best addressed by seeing a therapist who’ll help you uncover the reason behind the disorder. Although researchers haven’t yet gotten to the bottom of it, they have identified the key signs that indicate an unhealthy addiction to shopping. Let’s take a look at them.
1. Unopened Packages
Check your bank statements and go through your pantry and closets to see if there are any unopened parcels you may have forgotten. This might be a sign that you’re shopping for the sake of it and buying stuff you don’t need.
Online shopping addicts often have piles of unopened boxes around their homes. This happens when you buy things you don’t really need. If you’re tempted to make excuses about the unopened items, that’s yet another sign that you may need to seek help.
2. Wanting to Buy Everything Online
While the ability to buy cookware online can be useful, it becomes unhealthy when someone starts doing so irresponsibly.
If you find yourself wanting to buy something new each day, this is a major red flag. Shopping for things you genuinely need is fine, but shopping for the sake of shopping can lead to major financial issues.
3. Negative Emotions and Low Self-esteem
Do you experience a lot of negative self-talk? Has your self-esteem taken a knock lately due to certain life circumstances? Do you find yourself reaching for your laptop to distract yourself from negative emotions?
Depression is strongly correlated with Oniomania. Online shopping addicts often see themselves in a negative light and can suffer from low self-esteem. This causes them to neglect themselves by diverting their emotions to something else. While some hobbies can actually be helpful, online shopping is a dangerous form of escape. So, if this feels familiar, reach out for help today.
4. Feeling Guilt and Shame
Deep down, most shopping addicts want to stop but find it almost impossible to do so without help. Unfortunately, reaching a state where you’re comfortable enough to open up about this problem and seek help is hard because of the guilt and shame.
However, taking that first step and admitting that you have a problem is the only way to overcome it. So, once again, if this feels familiar, it’s time to be brave and open up about what’s happening.
5. Shopping in Secret
Most online shopping addicts can’t accept that they have a problem. It’s common for them to keep their purchases secret because they know that if they tell anyone, they’ll be advised to seek help.
Deep down, Oniomania sufferers know that unnecessary online shopping is not normal, but stopping and seeking help is hard. They choose to ignore the problem and end up doing their shopping in secret so that no one will judge them.
The moment an online shopping hobby becomes uncontrollable, it has become a mental disorder. So, if you’re buying things you don’t need, shopping for the sake of it, and doing all this in secret, it’s important to acknowledge you have a problem and seek help.
We live in a materialistic culture that glorifies consumption, but that doesn’t mean we should normalize Oniomania. It is a serious mental health disorder that can ruin lives. If you identified any of these symptoms in your own behavior, consider seeking help sooner rather than later.