This condition generally interferes with the functioning of an individual where an individual is faced with an overwhelming urge to shop. Signs include; someone being overly preoccupied with shopping (shop till you drop), excessive shopping of especially items that are not used, which eventually leads to debts, marital problems with the spouse, or even other family members such as parents. Other signs include; thinking excessively about money, feeling a rush of euphoria and anxiety when shopping, and ultimately lying about purchases made.(Krueger 1988)
How it starts
Oniomania has no direct cause, since there is no specific pattern to the way of life of the people who have been diagnosed with as being shopoholics. Some Psychologists speculate that this condition might generate from developmental neurobiological and cultural influences, thus early life influences such as sexual abuse might be some of the cause. It should also be noted that this condition is mostly common in the developed world, probably because of higher income levels thus more of the disposable income and a higher ease of access to credit facilities. Oniomania is also higher in women as compared to men, with a survey in the USA revealing that of those people that were diagnosed with the condition 80% were women.(Lawrence 1990)
The biggest beneficiaries of shopopholism are the retailers who benefit with increased sales especially during the festive seasons. Shopoholics on the other hand benefit to some extent by having a wide variety of items that they bought to choose. They also feel elated in the experience of shopping and hide from the problems in their lives, and some even feel more gratified than even being in a relationship. It should be noted however that these benefits ultimately lead to bigger problems.
Advantages include; financial loss, incurring huge debts, family breakdown, loss of friendships and poor work performance caused by loss of time. One can also revamp into theft and psychological trauma.
How to stop it
Compulsive spending may come with a host of other disorders, which include; alcoholism and eating disorder. It is important for someone who bears the symptoms to seek counseling.
Roberts JA, Tanner JF Jr. Compulsive buying and sexual attitudes, intentions, and activity among adolescents: an extension of Roberts and Tanner (2000). Aboujaoude E, Gamel N, Koran LM. A 1-year naturalistic following of patients with compulsive shopping disorder. J Clin Psychiatry. 2003
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Topic: Oniomania: Psychology and Higher Income Levels
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