Shopaholism is an uncontrolled desire to make purchases without the need for them. The analyzed concept has come into use relatively recently, however, the number of people suffering from addiction to shopaholism is steadily increasing. Shopaholism is also called oniomania, which means making crazy purchases. Often described attraction is equated with alcoholism or other variations of dependence. However, this is erroneous, since the uncontrolled attraction in question does not so detrimentally affect the existence of individuals. The female gender is more susceptible to shopaholism, however, this scourge will not escape men. The main sign of this dependence can be considered the lack of rational content when making a purchase of a particular product.
Reasons for Shopaholism
So, shopaholism is a disease or oniomania - it is an irresistible attraction to buy something without the need for acquired things. In other words, the subject, making a purchase, enjoys this action itself. Shopping for a shopaholic becomes entertainment and a separate meaning.
Experts say that more often shopaholism is formed in women due to lack of attention, internal emptiness, feelings of loneliness , desire for recognition, as well as with depressive moods due to separation from a partner.
In addition, a number of other factors provoking the development of the described dependence can be distinguished, namely the low degree of self-regulation , the illusion of power, control and freedom, the thirst for adrenaline, the need for love, psychological trauma from childhood.
A reduced level of self-regulation leads to a decrease in the ability to balance, in order to achieve the intended task, adverse personality traits. In conjunction with the subjective preference of the subject of purchase, this often generates pernicious passion.
The illusion of power lies in the acquisition of goods not because of the need for individual consumption, but because of their assessment as some attributes of power, which also include the attitude of sales representatives to customers: helpful and flattering treatment, servility, respect.
Shopping can give the illusion of control over your own existence and a kind of freedom, since it minimizes anxiety , eliminates depressive moods, increases confidence and respect for your own person. A person has the opportunity to purchase what he wants right this second, and not the necessary goods or recommended things. From this, the subject feels a sense of freedom.
Adrenaline can be considered a kind of drug for the body, because the individual quickly gets used to it, which gives rise to dependence in receiving more and more large doses. Subjects who are addicted to adrenaline, try to get it, doing extreme sports. A store can also be a kind of source of adrenaline when a person makes a decision on the purchase of a certain product.
Due to the lack of love in the mundane existence of the individual, he can plunge into the depths of shopaholism. Often, disliked children, those who suffer from a lack of parental attention and receive gifts instead of caring, in their adult state can suffer from shopaholism. Weak children and affection and attention are compensated by their indefatigable attraction to purchases at the stage of growing up.
If a heap of unresolved psychological problems, traumas, difficulties in communicative interaction, a tendency to disappointments, a predisposition to depressive moods stretches from the past, then the acquisition of a new subject can be considered as an attempt to reward oneself, console, take care.
In addition, often shopaholism is a so-called vicious circle - a person makes an unnecessary purchase, at home he begins to regret excessive and irrational spending, which leads to a feeling of guilt in front of his relatives. Naturally, the subject's mood drops, apathy occurs. And he can get rid of discomfort only with the help of purchases.
It is believed that the main factors provoking the development of shopaholism can be divided into external causes and psychological factors, that is, internal.
The basis of the second are psychological personality problems. Shopping is considered an effective antidepressant. When buying a certain thing, the body of human subjects produces serotonin, which is responsible for the feeling of joy, as well as adrenaline, which is responsible for emotional outbursts. Constant stressors in family life and work, uncertainty, lowered self-esteem - these internal unresolved problems are looking for ways to free themselves, and often this leads to an excessive desire to make useless purchases.
Voyages to shopping centers are a great opportunity to “switch” and improve your mood. Enthusiastic remarks and flattering eyes of sellers regarding the acquisition made significantly increase self-esteem . An illusory feeling of power appears, because an individual can allow himself to possess this thing, therefore, he has power. In addition, purchases give a transient sense of freedom and the ability to control your own being. After all, a person acquires what he wants without the indication of his environment; therefore, he is a free person. This illusory freedom subsequently leads to the fact that the individual begins to search for answers to the question: "how to treat shopaholism?"
Factors of the external focus include diverse marketing moves by which stores lure customers. Various promotional offers and a discount system, beautiful and exquisite shop windows, polite and smiling staff - all this encourages people to make an unnecessary purchase. The inscription on the storefront "only with us and only today everyone has bought one thing, the second as a gift or a discount on all goods 70%" has a truly magical power.
Today, the diversity of goods can amaze even the most sophisticated individual and lead to the acquisition of unnecessary goods. Modern supermarkets and other retail premises are designed in such a way as to provide free access to all goods, provide an opportunity to feel a thing, examine it from different angles, read the composition so that a person may not want to part with it even before purchasing a product. The ability to examine the product closely, to feel it increases the likelihood of acquisition at times, and then it becomes more difficult to fight shopaholism.
Picturesque motivational advertising is calculated taking into account the psychological characteristics of the average buyer and his needs. Advertising announcements, ideas, slogans, catchy commercials, posters and posters are developed by professionals who know what to focus on. Summoning headlines in large print scream for unprecedented discounts and incredible promotions. In addition, the time factor is of great importance. If the advertisement says that the product is limited or the offer lasts only one day, then the motivation and desire to purchase the thing increases.
Also, many well-known hypermarkets use a variety of flavors to attract consumers. Studies have proven that certain specific flavors have the power of suggestion, for example, in the grocery departments create a feeling of freshness, novelty, which can increase sales. In the culinary department, the aromas of fresh pastries or spices evoke appetite, which also forces the individual to make an unplanned purchase.
In principle, sometimes each individual is conducted on the marketing moves of trading companies. However, when the desire to get something turns into obsession, then you need to look for answers on the topic: "shopaholism, how to recover" or try to understand your own complexes and the burden of psychological problems.
Symptoms of shopaholism
The concept of shopaholism under consideration was first introduced at the turn of the 19th century by the German psychiatrist E. Kraepelin. His joint works with E. Bleiler revealed the main symptoms and signs of the described psychological dependence.
The following signs may indicate the existence of shopaholism in a subject. So, you should think that the desire to buy enslaved a person if:
- a shopping trip is not accompanied by a need or a clear intention to purchase something specific;
- in the store, a person inspects most of the goods put up for sale;
- the individual is fond of fashion magazines;
- there is a desire to acquire a thing without an objective reason;
- a person constantly discusses the purchased goods;
- there is apathy in the absence of the ability to regularly visit trading establishments;
- many new things are at home, and the individual cannot remember which goods he bought last;
- finding himself in a retail outlet, a person’s mood sharply rises, he feels an unprecedented emotional upsurge, and urgent problems seem to be leveled out;
- if there is a lot of workload, the subject will still find time to make useless purchases;
- after conflict situations in family relationships or in a team, an individual can calm down only by making purchases;
- often a person visits shopping malls, centers, large shops for no reason.
At first glance, the listed symptoms do not endanger the existence, but can significantly affect the health of the subject. Therefore, the question of how to get rid of the shopaholism of buying clothes or other items is quite relevant and is becoming more popular every year. After all, shopaholism has social consequences, such as:
- debts leading to the sale of heirlooms, movable property, mortgaging property;
- thefts in stalls, supermarkets, shopping centers, small shops;
- theft of money from close relatives;
- often the lack of money to make purchases can push girls into prostitution;
- Endless family conflicts and family breakdown.
It is believed that adolescents have great sensitivity and suggestibility, since tastes are not completely formed. In addition, often teenagers are very dependent on the opinions of their peers, they are also motivated by the desire to stand out and assert themselves, to prove to others that they are adults. Therefore, often teenagers are unable to objectively assess the need to purchase a particular product.
Many parents with children in the puberty, especially the fair sex, are interested in how to get rid of the shopaholism of clothing selection, buying cosmetics. Indeed, often the usual desire is liked by the guys, to stand out, to assert themselves grows into a addiction that encourages girls to spend money thoughtlessly, buying up a lot of unnecessary things.
However, in addition to the danger of aimless spending, shopaholism can provoke psychosomatic effects such as arrhythmia, biliary dyskinia, vegetative-vascular dystonia , gastritis, chronic colitis, hypertensive and peptic ulcer disease, depressive and neurosis-like states, persistent sleep disturbances. There may also be a decrease in immunity, which leads to an increase in the occurrence of colds.
How to get rid of shopaholism?
Sometimes, to get rid of shopaholism and struggle with attraction to make unnecessary purchases, one should seek psychological help. Today even groups of “anonymous shopaholics” function, voluntary care societies that have managed to cope with pernicious attraction.
But most shopaholics can be helped to get rid of their obsessive desire by the ability to control their own spending. To do this, in the first turn, it is necessary to plan and conduct market research. Psychologists recommend that you analyze in advance the need to purchase a particular product in order to refrain from making spontaneous purchases. Even if the desired object is present in the list of necessary, then you should not throw in the store to the first thing encountered. First, you should study pricing, quality characteristics of the subject, design, composition. Thoughts about the need to purchase new shoes to match the purse should be swept away immediately.
If the question of shopaholism, how to cure has become urgent, then, first of all, it is necessary to understand for yourself that purchases must be made based on the importance of the purchased product, and not because of a discount on it or the profitability of the offer. Any purchase must be justified.
Therefore, it should be understood that a discount or a promotion is not a reasoned reason to purchase a product. The sale of a particular product does not make it necessary for a particular person. Often, shopaholics, having bought a discount item, never use it.
How to get rid of shopaholism? New collections should also be avoided. Why buy a product more expensive than its face value. It’s better to wait a little while for the sales season and buy the necessary thing at times cheaper.
It is also recommended to get rid of credit cards, since the calculation of the ability to use them, if necessary, guarantees a steady increase in debt. In addition, cash allows an individual to better feel the relationship between spending money and acquiring a thing. In order to control their own spending, it is recommended to leave the house with a limited amount of funds.
A list of expenses should also be maintained. Since keeping receipts and keeping records of acquired items allows you to see the real picture of spending and evaluate their rationality. In addition, such actions will help to understand what to do, which purchases to exclude, and which products, on the contrary, to add.
If there is a feeling of inability to control expenses, it is recommended to try to avoid visiting hypermarkets and other places of trade for a while. You need to give yourself a little time to consider the need for a purchase.
Relatives of an individual suffering from an uncontrolled passion for acquiring unnecessary things that are interested in how to treat shopaholism can be advised as follows. First of all, it is necessary to limit shopaholic access to funds, as well as cut pocket money. You should also try to protect your loved ones from the effects of stressors, avoid conflicts with them, try to improve your mood in various ways, give more positive emotions, take care and protect.