Health

EXPERT claims online shopping addiction should be classed as a mental health condition

Online shopping addictions should be recognised as an actual mental health disorder according to the experts.

Researchers say they can even pinpoint distinctive symptoms and characteristics of the condition and how it affects the mind.

EXPERT claims online shopping addiction should be classed as a mental health condition

German scientists found that people struggling with shopping addiction had higher than usual rates of depression and anxiety.

People obsessed with spending online often end up hoarding the items they purchase, suffer from huge debt, argue with loved ones and completely lose self-control.

‘Buying-shopping disorder’ (BSD) has been recognised for decades but experts say it is taking on a new meaning in the internet age and now affects one in 20 people.

‘It really is time to recognise BSD as a separate mental health condition and to accumulate further knowledge about BSD on the Internet,’ said Dr. Astrid Müller, a psychotherapist at Hannover Medical School in Germany.

She claims the condition has gone unrecognised for far too long.

In a recent study published in Comprehensive Psychiatry, they looked at the evidence from 122 patients seeking help for their online shopping addictions and found they had higher than usual rates of depression and anxiety.

They argue the rise of online stores, apps, and home delivery has added an entirely new dimension to the concept of a shopaholic.

Dr. Müller added: ‘We hope that our results showing that the prevalence of addictive online shopping among treatment-seeking patients with BSD will encourage future research addressing the distinct phenomenological characteristics, underlying features, associated comorbidity, and specific treatment concepts.’

The impact of online shopping addiction

The addiction to shopping can cause an endless urge for buying more things, which can then lead to a breakdown in self-control, ‘extreme distress’, other psychiatric problems, relationship difficulties and, even physical clutter and debt.

Symptoms of a shopping addiction:

  • Frequency/ Intensity of Shopping – binge shopping
  • Shopping to make you feel better
  • Shopping to avoid doing something more important
  • Feeling anxious, guilty, or ashamed after you go on a buying binge?
  • Buying things even though you don’t need or can’t afford them?
  • Hiding your purchases and shopping trips from family or friends?
  • Arguments with family or friends over your shopping
  • Massive debt that keeps causing stress
  • Clutter
  • Sneaking around
  • Longing to shop
  • Browsing online at all hours of the day and night

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tracy-hardy
written by:

Tracy Hardy

Tracy has been a digital content producer for the past 9 years. Mum of two boys, slowly finding her way through the tween and teen years at the same time. Beach lover. Terrible housekeeper. Tea drinker. Wine sipper, who sadly can't eat cheese or ice cream. Life is cruel!