Addiction to shopping becomes a serious mental disorder

Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City TV series is a bright example of shopping addict

Specialists identified symptoms of shopping addiction in the 1990s. This mental and spiritual disorder is common mostly with women. Addiction to shopping has been shaping up as an epidemic lately. Researchers found out that about twenty percent of German women acknowledge their insuperable desire to buy something all the time. The addiction has conquered 40 percent of American women, whereas 52 percent of British females said they found shopping a lot more enjoyable than sex. There is no such statistic data as far as Russian women are concerned, although the passion for shopping has been developing in Russia steadily.

Psychologist Nadezhda Yugrina says that shopping addicts do not feel sorry to buy more and more clothes and other goods when they actually go and visit stores. However, when shop-addicts come home and unpack bags they often wonder why they bought so much stuff. If a young woman does shopping after she splits up with her boyfriend, for instance, the woman can be referred to as a shopping addict.

”Shopping addiction resembles drug, gambling or alcoholic addiction. One should look for its reasons in the childhood of every particular individual. As a rule, such people suffered from the shortage of human care and tenderness when children. A person can grow in a normal family and receive good education, but experience a strong need in love. When such people grow up, they can find attention in various stores.

”Shopping addiction can also be found with impetuous people, who usually do something at first and then think about possible consequences of their actions. As a rule, when they choose what to buy in a store, they do not even try to think if they have the needed amount of money with them or not. “We'll see what happens” – this is what they basically think in a store before they go to the pay desk. It is noteworthy that there are a lot more shopping addicts in the countries, which widely practice credit cards. The absence of cash gives them more freedom in shopping, so to speak: they do not see the actual money and they can also reach a negative balance on a card too.

”Suspicious and excessively precautious people make another category of potential shopping addicts. Shopping is like a sedative for them. If they have problems at work or in their families, they go to the nearest shopping mall. Diffident women are also subjected to the shopping mania: they feel more confident when they buy a new outfit or makeup. The main character of Sex and the City series, Carrie Bradshaw, could not resist the temptation of buying new shoes, for instance. One may say that this character is a bright example of shopping addiction. Psychologists believe that shopping is a way to forget all your problems, leave them somewhere in another world and then come back to them again.

”It is a vicious circle: at first people go to a store and spend a lot of money there but then they suffer from the sense of guilt and go to a store to get rid of this feeling again. If a person wants to put an end to this permanent shopping, they are supposed to approach the issue as a problem and ask for psychological help.

”An average shopping addict is a woman in her twenties or thirties, who has money, but who also has problems in her private and professional life. If a woman has a stressful profession, she may fall victim to shopping too. Shopping addiction is common not only with wealthy people: those of limited means can spend money on many things which they do not need as well.

”Addiction to shopping is a psychological disease of the future. The purchasing capacity is growing along with the number of services. It is an open secret that shopping addiction is common in the countries with stable economies. One may infer that stable economies generate more shoppers.”

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Author`s name Olga Savka