TODAY -

Is Compulsive Shopping a Mental Disorder ?

Bramhacharimayum Sadananda Sharma *



Did you know that on average 10 to 15 percent of the population may be inclined to these feelings of Compulsive buying disorder (CBD) which is characterized by excessive shopping cognitions and buying behavior that leads to distress or destruction of their own financial status?

Some people develop shopping addictions because they essentially get addicted to how their brain feels while shopping. As they shop, their brain releases endorphins and dopamine, and over time, these feelings become addictive according to Ruth Engs from Indiana University.

In general, CBD is a private pleasure which could lead to embarrassment if someone not similarly interested in shopping accompanied them. Shopping may occur in just about any venue, ranging from high fashion department stores to simple Store. Income has relatively little to do with the existence of CBD. Persons with a low or zero income can still be fully lost into the thought of shopping and spending.

According to Researchers CBD reports obsession with shopping, pre-purchase tension or anxiety, and a sense of relief following the purchase. CBD is mostly associated with significant psychiatric co-morbidity, particularly mood and anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, eating disorders, and other disorders of impulse control.

Just to simulate a clear vision there was a time when we get excited even in small activities like watching our favourite television shows, eating an ice cream, getting a toy the excitement, happiness and satisfaction is incomparable. Whether you call it a childhood memory or past memory that is another topic. But with age and time changes hit everyone’s life whether we like it or not.

Everyday new product is being launched whether a mobile phone, laptop, cars, cloths etc, and we as a consumer keeps waiting for the launching date. We are running behind products like a zombie, buying new stuffs which gives a self satisfaction and that feeling of satisfaction can be quite addictive.

With the advancement in Internet and connectivity in our society, buying and selling things through online mode has brought a bigger change in our today’s society. Multiple applications, websites, and small scale social media seller emerged like mushroom. The temptation and urge to buy unnecessary items and things is kicking the youths of today’s generations.

The War of marketing between different sellers leads to the introduction of different schemes, offers, EMI policy which provide customer an opportunity to buy their products from them. Yet, all these opportunity gives many youths and students to fall into their traps of misery and pain afterwards.

Most people staying outside the states, studying or working are mostly the victims of CBD, they are affected mostly due to compulsive buying, and the burden falls upon the parents, some of the parents hard earned money are being wasted in matter of a click of order button. Parents used to send money for education instead some of them invested in shopping unnecessary products.

With the introduction of using only branded product culture among youths, many youths goes for branded items without even considering about their parent’s financial status. This often creates a situation of insincere and swindling between parents and students about money even leading to big misunderstanding.

Some students’ parents may be able to afford high cost and investment for their children while some may not. The difference created by such activities gave rise to formation friends’ circle where one with wealthy families and one with middle class and slowly the idea of money power is being fitted in our youth’s minds.

With all these extra expenditures and spending huge money in terms of shopping unnecessary products, the reality of staying abroad for higher education’s is getting more of a luxury life style. After all majority of parents wants to give their children a better lifestyle than others. While doing so it may also bring an alternate parallel changes in our society leading to a race of luxury lifestyle. It is high time to access all these kind of extra expenditures made by our youths before too late.

Some of the persons with CBD are preoccupied with shopping and spending, and devote significant time to these behaviors. While it might be argued that a person could be a compulsive shopper and not spend, and confine his or her interest to window shopping, this pattern is uncommon.

According to some researchers personal observation is believe that the two aspects - shopping and spending - are intertwined. Persons with CBD often describe an increasing level of urge or anxiety that can only lead to a sense of completion when a purchase is made.

According to many clinical symptoms it has been able to identify four distinct phases of CBD: 1) anticipation; 2) preparation; 3) shopping; and 4) spending. In the first phase, the person with CBD develops thoughts, urges, or preoccupations with either having a specific item, or with the act of shopping.

In the second phase, the person prepares for shopping and spending. This can include decisions on when and where to go, on how to dress, and even which credit/debit cards to use. Considerable research may have taken place about sale items, new fashions, or new shops. The third phase involves the actual shopping experience, which many individuals with CBD describe as intensely exciting. Finally, the act is completed with a purchase.

Some of the Individuals with CBD mostly tend to shop by themselves. Like all addicts, shopping addicts may try to hide their addiction, and if a loved one is addicted to shopping, they may try to hide it from us. If they hide credit card bills, shopping bags or receipts, you may be a shopaholic. In some cases, shopaholics may try to hide their addiction by lying about just one element of it.

For instance, a person may admit they went shopping, but they may lie about how much they spent. In some countries the CBD is a very big reality and impacted more than 20 to 30% of the population and such situation are treated with proper behavioral therapy or individual counseling.

Although it’s not officially described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), it has been suggested that compulsive shopping disorder, also known as compulsive buying disorder, is either a type of impulse control disorder, a behavioral addiction or possibly even related to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).


* Bramhacharimayum Sadananda Sharma wrote this article for Imphal Times
This article was webcasted on February 05 2021.



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