We all enjoy a bit of online shopping now and then, but some people are downright obsessed with it to the point that they develop an addiction, spending money they really don’t have on things they really don’t need. Now, psychotherapists are warning that this isn’t just a bad habit, it’s a mental health condition.
- This is a serious problem. Psychotherapists at the Hannover Medical School in Germany studied 122 people who were seeking help for online shopping addiction to discover what led them to develop the issue and how it was affecting their lives. The results, which were published in the journal Comprehensive Psychology, were staggering.
- Those with online shopping addictions have higher rates of mental illness. The study showed that a good portion of those with online shopping addiction also struggled with anxiety and depression, and it’s not hard to understand why. Whether depression or anxiety led people to shop online to potentially alleviate those feelings or they’re developing anxiety and depression after over-spending, it’s bound to have an effect.
- Shopping addiction has always existed, but this is different. Experts believe that while shopping addiction has been around for a long time, the advent of online shopping and home delivery options have made this so much worse, especially since online shops often offer deals/bargains that brick and mortar stores don’t.
- Roughly 5% of the population has BSD. BSD stands for buying-shopping disorder, and experts say that those suffering from the condition are getting younger and younger as time goes on. BSD has always fallen under the category of “other specified impulse control disorder,” but Dr. Muller and her fellow researchers believe that it should be seen as its own unique and serious condition.
- What happens to those who have BSD? The condition results in an extreme compulsion to purchase things and a rush of endorphins every time you do. This then results in an endless loop in which sufferers continue to seek that same rush over and over again, which can turn into “extreme distress” and a loss of self-control. Not good!