Shopping addiction is a disorder. It is a disorder where someone compulsively shops even if it has a negative impact on their life. It is when someone compulsively buys and cannot stop themselves from doing so.
This type of disorder generally has people out of control. Like any addiction, they can’t just quit their problem. It is usually linked to past trauma and requires treatment.
People tend to think that maybe it isn’t an addiction. That it is just someone who isn’t good with money. But that is not the case. It is uncontrollable like any other addiction. Many people wish they could stop.
In a vague sense, anyone can be at risk for a shopping addiction. “Retail therapy” is commonly touted as an activity for when someone is upset. Pretty much everyone shops. In-store or online the purchasing of goods happens every day for many people.
It can give people a sense of reward to buy something new. It could be something useful like a household item or just something pretty they liked. It rigs up happy chemicals in their brains.
Six percent of the population of the U.S. is thought to have a shopping addiction. It generally starts in the teenage or young adult years. That’s important because that time is when people start to have their own money. This is when they get bank accounts or credit cards.
It can be exciting. But it can also be the start of a shopping addiction problem.
Shopping can become addictive easily for someone who has depression or anxiety. This is because buying things can lead to higher levels of dopamine. For people with depression or anxiety that’s the chemical, their brain doesn’t naturally make enough of.
Then they end up wanting to buy more things to get that rush of good feeling again. This can lead to a vicious cycle of addiction.
Hoarding is when someone collects a bunch of different things and is unwilling to get rid of them. They think of it as a collection or something they need to keep. They forge a strong emotional bond to the items.
Hoarding can cause shopping addiction and make it worse. That’s because people will want to hoard more things and be unable to stop buying them. This continues despite problems with money or space or hygiene.
Many people give themselves high expectations. If they fail to meet them that can lower their self-esteem. That makes them think they are worthless or useless. This might make them want to buy new and great things to seem impressive.
They will never be satisfied with whatever they buy. So they have to buy the next and the next. Even as they try to feel better with the material items they surround themselves with it doesn’t work. So they just keep trying, and it leads to a continued shopping addiction.