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

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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 lớn describe people who have sầu 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 lathử nghiệm shoes and handbags. The popularity of the "Confessions of a Shopaholic" books và movie speaks lớn 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 size for a number of reasons. Take a closer look at some of the key characteristics that people with shopping addictions tkết thúc to tóm tắt.


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 lớn others. Often lonely & isolated, the shopping experience provides the shopaholic with positive sầu interactions with salespeople & the hope that what they have bought will improve 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 to follow the advice of your therapist & 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 khổng lồ be. However, low self-esteem can also be a consequence of shopping addiction, particularly as debt can intensify feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness.

Excessive shopping can often become a crutch lớn cope with emotions. People find themselves buying things khổng lồ 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 to truly value about yourself, such as your kindly disposition, mentioned above sầu.

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 & depression. Shopping is often used as a way of lifting the spirits, even temporarily.

The good news is that both anxiety và depression can be treated with psychological therapies & 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 lớn vì chưng something grips you, & you feel the need to act. Most people find it fairly easy to control their impulses & learn to lớn do so during childhood. Shopaholics, on the other hvà, find impulses, particularly impulses that involve buying something, both overwhelming and irresistible.

The good news is that you can gain control over your impulse to lớn spover, particularly if you deal 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 giao dịch can give sầu people a sense of power & control over their environment.

Indulges in Fantasy

The ability to fantakích thước 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 sầu consequences of buying the desired object, and they can escape into a fantasy world khổng lồ escape the harsh realities of life.

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


Research shows that shopaholics are more materialistic than other buyers, but there is a complexity to lớn their love of material possessions. They are surprisingly disinterested in owning things and are actually less driven to 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 to materialism, envy, và non-generosity, & these are the weaknesses of the shopaholic. They are much more envious and 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 to "buy" love sầu and increase social status, rather than a genuine act of generosity.

A Word From Verywell

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

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

The good news is that behavioral addictions like compulsive sầu shopping are treatable. Talk 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-chất lượng sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process lớn learn more about how we fact-check and keep our nội dung accurate, reliable, & trustworthy.

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Andreassen CS, Griffiths MD, Pallesen S, Bilder RM, Torsheyên T, Aboujaoude E. The Bergen Shopping Addiction Scale: reliability and validity of a brief screening test. 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 sầu buying: Earlier illicit drug use, impulse buying, depression, và adult ADHD symptoms. Psychiatry Res. 2015;228(3):312-7. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2015.05.095

Sanđến M, De gracia M, Rodríguez RC, et al. Mindfulness-Based Interventions for the Treatment of Substance và Behavioral Addictions: A Systematic đánh giá. Front Psychiatry. 2018;9:95. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00095

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

Additional Reading
Lejoyeux, M.D., Ph.D., M., Ades, M.D., J., Tassain, Ph.D., V. & Solotháng, Ph.D., J. "Phenomenology và psychopathology of uncontrolled buying." Am J Psychiatry, 153:1524-1529. 1996.Mowen, J. và Spears, N. "Understanding compulsive buying among mỏi 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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