Elizabeth Hartney, BSc, MSc, MA, PhD is a psychologist, professor, & Director of the Centre for Health Leadership & Research at Royal Roads University, Canada.

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Daniel B. Blochồng, MD, is an award-winning, board-certified psychiatrist who operates a private practice in Pennsylvania.


The term "shopaholic" is sometimes used to describe people who have a shopping addiction, or oniomania. While this is often described as one of the most socially acceptable addictions, this behavioral addiction can create serious problems in a person"s life.

What are the symptoms of being a shopaholic? In popular culture, the image of a compulsive shopper is a cheerful, superficial young woman concerned with little more than the lachạy thử shoes and handbags. The popularity of the "Confessions of a Shopaholic" books and movie speaks khổng lồ the appeal of this image.

Research paints a different picture of this poorly understood condition. However, it is important lớn rethành viên that shopping addictions may khung for a number of reasons. Take a closer look at some of the key characteristics that people with shopping addictions tkết thúc lớn giới thiệu.


The shopping addict or shopaholic personality has been found lớn be more agreeable than non-shopaholic research subjects, meaning they are kindhearted, sympathetic, and not rude to others. Often lonely and isolated, the shopping experience provides the shopaholic with positive interactions with salespeople and the hope that what they have sầu bought will improve sầu their relationships with others.

The good news if you are a shopaholic is that having a kind, agreeable disposition will make it easier for you khổng lồ establish a good therapeutic relationship if you seek treatment for your addiction. This personality type may also predispose you khổng lồ follow the advice of your therapist and to be influenced by the positive encouragement of others in group therapy.

Low Self Esteem

Low self-esteemis one of the most commonly found characteristics in studies of the shopaholic personality. Shopping is a way of trying to lớn improve self-esteem, particularly when the desired object is associated with an image of what the shopper wants to lớn be. However, low self-esteem can also be a consequence of shopping addiction, particularly as debt can intensify feelings of inadequacy & worthlessness.

Excessive sầu shopping can often become a crutch to cope with emotions. People find themselves buying things to lớn make themselves feel better when they are sad, stressed, angry, bored, or afraid.

The good news is that with deeper self-reflection, perhaps with the help of a therapist, you will realize there is much lớn truly value about yourself, such as your kindly disposition, mentioned above.

Emotional Problems

As well as a general tendency for emotionalinstability or mood swings, studies have sầu also found that shopping addicts often suffer from anxiety và depression. Shopping is often used as a way of lifting the spirits, even temporarily.

The good news is that both anxiety & depression can be treated with psychological therapies and medication, if necessary. These treatments are much more effective sầu than the short-lived thrill of buying.

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Poor Impulse Control

Impulses are natural — a sudden, intense urge khổng lồ vị something grips you, and you feel the need to act. Most people find it fairly easy to lớn control their impulses và learn lớn vì so during childhood. Shopaholics, on the other h&, find impulses, particularly impulses that involve sầu buying something, both overwhelming and irresistible.

The good news is that you can gain control over your impulse to spkết thúc, particularly if you khuyến mãi with the other underlying problems.

Compulsive sầu bargain shopping, for example, involves seeking out great deals và buying often unneeded items just because they are on sale. Finding such great deals can give people a sense of power và control over their environment.

Indulges in Fantasy

The ability khổng lồ fantasize is stronger in shopaholics than it usually is in other people. There are several ways that fantasies can reinforce the tendency khổng lồ buy too much. The shopaholic can fantakích cỡ about the thrill of shopping while engaged in other activities; they can imagine all the positive consequences of buying the desired object, & they can escape inkhổng lồ a fantasy world lớn escape the harsh realities of life.

The good news for shopaholics is that having a svào capathành phố for imagination can be extremely beneficial during addiction treatment và can be helpful in developing skills that will help you overcome your addiction, such as relaxation training.


Retìm kiếm shows that shopaholics are more materialistic than other buyers, but there is a complexity lớn their love sầu of material possessions. They are surprisingly disinterested in owning things và are actually less driven khổng lồ acquire material possessions than other buyers, which explains why shopaholics buy things they don"t need or use.

So how are they more materialistic? Well, there are two other dimensions lớn materialism, envy, and non-generosity, & these are the weaknesses of the shopaholic. They are much more envious & much less generous than others. This is surprising, given the fact that gifts are a comtháng purchase of shopaholics, but this seems to be an attempt khổng lồ "buy" love sầu và increase social status, rather than a genuine act of generosity.

A Word From Verywell

The good news is that by increasing your self-esteem & your ability to connect with others in a genuine way, you will chiến bại your belief that affection & admiration can be bought.

In discovering what you really have sầu to offer, you will no longer feel the need lớn hide behind an image promoted by advertising. You can become yourself và live sầu within your means.

The good news is that behavioral addictions like compulsive sầu shopping are treatable. Talk to lớn your doctor or a mental health professional if you believe your shopping habits are causing problems in your life.

Verywell Mind uses only high-unique sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to tư vấn the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process khổng lồ learn more about how we fact-kiểm tra & keep our nội dung accurate, reliable, & trustworthy.

Andreassen CS, Griffiths MD, Pallesen S, Bilder RM, Torshelặng T, Aboujaoude E. The Bergen Shopping Addiction Scale: reliability và validity of a brief screening demo. Front Psychol. 2015;6:1374. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01374

Biolcati R. The Role of Self-esteem và Fear of Negative sầu Evaluation in Compulsive sầu Buying. Front Psychiatry. 2017;8:74. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2017.00074

Brook JS, Zhang C, Brook DW, Leukefeld CG. Compulsive buying: Earlier illicit drug use, impulse buying, depression, & adult ADHD symptoms. Psychiatry Res. 2015;228(3):312-7. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2015.05.095

Sanmang đến M, De gracia M, Rodríguez RC, et al. Mindfulness-Based Interventions for the Treatment of Substance and Behavioral Addictions: A Systematic Đánh Giá. Front Psychiatry. 2018;9:95. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00095

Granero R, Fernández-aranda F, Mestre-bach G, et al. Compulsive Buying Behavior: Clinical Comparison with Other Behavioral Addictions. Front Psychol. 2016;7:914. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.năm 2016.00914

Additional Reading
Lejoyeux, M.D., Ph.D., M., Ades, M.D., J., Tassain, Ph.D., V. và Solotháng, Ph.D., J. "Phenomenology & psychopathology of uncontrolled buying." Am J Psychiatry, 153:1524-1529. 1996.Mowen, J. & Spears, N. "Understanding compulsive buying amuốn college students: A hierarchical approach." Journal of Consumer Psychology, 8:407-430. 1999.O'Guinn, T. & Faber, R. "Compulsive sầu buying: A phenomenological exploration." Journal of Consumer Research, 16:147-157. 1989.

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