The darker side of a shopping addict

After sneaking another new pair of shoes into the house to avoid detection, I realised that I have a serious shopping problem. 

Confessions of a Shopaholic (film)Yes, yes, we’ve all watched the movie, “Confessions of a shopaholic”;

Yes, we are all very familiar with the term shopaholic; and

Yes, most women glibly claim that they are shopping addicts and just love shopping.

So, is there really such a thing as a shopaholic?  Well, apparently there is!  A shopping addiction even has a name, oniomania, as classified by German psychologist, Emil Kraepelin.

Oniomania (pronounced o-nee-o-may-nee-a) is the psychiatric term for compulsive explains that people with oniomania shop on impulse as a way of coping, and find it difficult to control their spending or shopping behaviours. Moreover, this addiction is perhaps the most socially re-inforced of all behavioural addictions due to influences such as consumerism.

In short, shopping is a behaviour altering activity that is performed excessively as an outlet for emotion or as a way to deal with stress.  

Elizabeth Hartney sums up the characteristics of a shopaholic quite nicely in “Inside the mind of a shopaholic – The personality of the compulsive shopaholic”.  Here, a shopaholic is described as a person with emotional problems such as depression or anxiety, a low self-esteem and difficulties controlling impulses. Add materialistic and indulgence in fantasy to that list and you have an accurate profile of an oniomaniac.

To confirm my suspicions, I decided to score myself according to the Compulsive Buying Scale.  If you score 42.2 or more, you are a compulsive shopper. My score:  50. 

It’s time to start making some lifestyle changes.  I’m going to follow the advice of experts and create a budget to start tracking my spending.  In addition, I plan to remove my credit cards and store cards from my purse and avoid shopping malls for the next 21 days. If that doesn’t help, then I’m increasing my anti-depressant dosage and re-visiting my therapist!


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One thought on “The darker side of a shopping addict

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