How do I know if I’m a compulsive buyer?

Compulsive buyer?

This addiction may be seriously affecting your financial situation. See when it is time to make a stop along the way to accept whether or not you suffer from Oniomania.

Who doesn’t like the rich aroma of a freshly purchased garment, or the shine of new shoes, or the soft touch of a blanket that just touches the bed.

New objects can be very pleasant. But this same pleasure can cause your credit card payment to increase month by month. And of course, we don’t mean that an occasional purchase, as a method of self-indulgence, is wrong.

The problem is when it becomes a behavior that seeks to fill an emotional or personal void through which the person passes, and with which only buying can help alleviate.

Tatiana Barreto, a psychologist at the University of La Sabana, says that this behaviour can be considered a disease: oniomania. Better known as shopping addiction or compulsive buying, it is a condition that affects between 3% and 7% of the population.

The term derives from the ancient Greek onios (what is for sale) and mania (madness), and arose in the nineteenth century from psychiatrists Emil Kraepelin and Eugene Bleuler. According to a study promoted by the EU, young people are more likely to suffer from this addiction to shopping, and up to 8% show pathological behaviour.

Studies agree that most of our purchases are not planned, but are made impulsively due to the social phenomenon of consumerism, advertising, shopping centers, and so on. However, there is nothing to worry about, if you like shopping does not mean that you suffer from oniomania as long as you manage to keep control of the situation.

“The person must make a conscious examination of what is really needed and what is not. If you buy it and it ends up in the drawer for a month, you definitely didn’t need it. Or if you buy it just because it has a 60% discount, either,” says the master’s degree in clinical and family psychology.

In this world where we live surrounded by socialnetworks, influencers and ‘neuromarketing’, companies have benefited from easy access to data to know exactly what to offer people, even creating non-existent needs.

Miguel Sánchez, a specialist in Consumer Psychology, states that “it is not the fact of possessing in itself, but the flash or momentary rush that they experience when carrying out the commercial transaction and the reflection of certain products as a symbol of social status. In addition, this type of behavior can ruin a person’s economy and deteriorate their social, work and family facets.

A study published by the Global Conference on Business and Finance Proceedings concludes that, among the subjects evaluated, women show a more compulsive attitude when making unnecessary purchases, and describe feeling more pleasant and intense emotions compared to men.

In another case, Kraepelin asserted the same conclusion when he started talking about oniomania, between 80% and 92% of the cases studied occur in women around 30 years of age.

Women tend to shop compulsively for clothing, shoes, and beauty and grooming accessories, and men with this addiction are more likely to spend money on electronics, technology, or vehicles.

Here are the 10 symptoms that may indicate that you have this disease, so that, as a first step, you accept that you have it and seek help if necessary:

  1. You spend more money than your budget allows.
  2. He regrets some purchases he makes or feels guilty about after doing so.
  3. Buy unnecessary or useless things.
  4. You almost always pay with credit cards and can’t conceive of a life without them.
  5. Lose time from work or study searching for products on the internet.
  6. When you are angry, saddened or disappointed you buy something.
  7. Feel a wave of euphoria and anxiety before you buy anything.
  8. Lies to others about purchases made or product prices.
  9. He hides the evidence of the purchases.
  10. He’s been arguing with someone about his way of buying.

Treatment for oniomania means dealing with the financial consequences of overspending. For some people addicted to shopping, getting credit counseling, contacting a therapist, or meeting with an addict support group is recommended.

Sharing experiences and getting support from people who understand addiction could work. In cases where the shopping addict is unable to live with a self-imposed spending ban, he may have to turn over his financial affairs to someone else to manage them.

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