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If you’re concerned that you may have an addiction to shopping online, read on to discover the symptoms and possible treatments. Shopping online is an easy and convenient way to buy the latest fashions and household items. If you spend a large amount of time on it, you’re probably aware of the dangers of this habit. However, it’s important to note that the compulsion to shop isn’t necessarily a sign of addiction.
Symptoms of addiction to shopping online can include spending money you don’t have, making large purchases too quickly, and hiding purchases from others. In some cases, individuals who suffer from an online shopping addiction hide their purchases from everyone, even from their friends and family. These individuals may hide their shopping habits by clearing the cache and history of their browsers. They may even feel guilty if they don’t shop on certain days.
In a recent study published in PLOS ONE, scientists found that online shopping shares some characteristics with addiction. While it’s difficult to categorize an online pathological shopping behavior, similar symptoms to impulse control disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders are common among pathological shoppers. Online shopping can worsen social anxiety and repress feelings of shame, and a person who has an addiction to shopping may feel compelled to shop anonymously.
Some people find it hard to resist the temptation of online shopping, and their habit has even destroyed their relationships, jobs, and financial security. Those with an addiction to online shopping constantly think about what they’d like to buy. They get angry when they can’t use their credit cards for their purchases, and they hide their purchases because they’re worried about what others think. They spend less time doing things they actually like and end up buying things they don’t need or can’t afford.
Another common cause of online shopping addiction is the ability to purchase anything and everything at any time. With the help of online shopping apps, it’s possible to shop around the clock. With social media tools, email incentives, and other marketing techniques, online shopping is now easily accessible round the clock. The lack of time to consider the purchase and reflect on the experience is one of the main reasons that people develop an online shopping addiction. And a recent study found that more women than men are seeking treatment for this problem.
If you’re a sufferer of a shopping addiction, you’re not alone. This condition often starts in late adolescence and co-occurs with other mental disorders. In its most severe form, shopping addiction can lead to financial hardship. While many family members and mental health professionals focus on the shame factor, that may lead to further shopping addiction. Fortunately, there’s help available for this condition.
Despite its relatively benign effects on finances, shopping addiction is associated with feelings of remorse and shame. Symptoms of the disease can range from a heightened sense of self-pity and shame to an intense need to repeat the experience. In both cases, a person suffering from this condition may feel compelled to shop despite the consequences. In some cases, people may even try to hide the purchases they make to avoid the scrutiny of others.