Financial Therapy: 'addicted' to shopping

Here is an interesting article describing what a shopping or buying disorder means and how it is categorized as a mental health disorder. When I work with my clients struggling with this issue, we focus on noticing what feelings and thoughts come up for them when they experience the urge to shop. We then connect these emotions and thoughts with old family patterns or societal and cultural messages received from early childhood on, and evaluate if they still make sense today. The clients learn to become curious about their real needs and how these can be met.

“… for some, online shopping can transform into an issue where they’re buying items on a daily or even hourly basis. It’s estimated that about 5% of adults in developed countries struggle with compulsive, obsessive shopping — a condition some health experts have defined as buying-shopping disorder, or BSD. (Other estimates suggest 6% of the U.S. population has BSD.)”

“BSD is categorized as an ‘other specified impulse control disorder’ in the International Classification of Diseases.” “..much like compulsive gambling, it can have sometimes debilitating effects on people’s daily lives.”

“While the impulses to shop are pleasurable ― even euphoric ― in the moment, it’s the aftershock that can be debilitating. Purchases are often followed by a downstream of negative consequences, including intense feelings of guilt, regret or shame. In the long run, it can put major strain on relationships and ruin people’s finances.”