Unless you live under a rock, we're certain you've at least heard of the term 'retail therapy'. Well, if you haven't, it basically means to shop with the purpose of improving one's mood. In fact, the items you purchase when you're out and about on your retail therapy session are sometimes also known as 'comfort buys'. Now, usually this habit didn't last very long because to shop, people actually had to step out of their homes. That situation has changed and how.
'50% off on all purchases', 'Clearance sale!', 'Flat 30% off on your purchase', 'Buy 2 get one free!' are all examples of some of the multiple offers we now get to see online. Yes, technology has made it rather easy to purchase products online without having to step foot out of your house. While it does provide a great deal of comfort, it has also made things a lot worse for people who enjoy 'retail therapy'.
As per a new study, researchers believe that addiction to online shopping should be classified as a mental disorder. Yikes! The study is titled ‘Online shopping in treatment-seeking patients with buying-shopping disorder’ and suggests that it's time to recognise online shopping addiction as a proper mental condition. Also known as the buying-shopping disorder(BSD), the study claims that nearly 5% of the population in developed countries suffers from some form of the BSD.
“BSD is characterized by extreme preoccupations with and craving for buying/shopping and by irresistible and identity-seeking urges to possess consumer goods. Patients with BSD buy more consumer goods than they can afford, and those are neither needed nor frequently used. The excessive purchasing is primarily used to regulate emotions, e.g. to get pleasure, relief from negative feelings, or coping with self-discrepancy.”
As mentioned above, since it has become so much easier for people to start shopping online with things available at just the click of a button, the BSD is becoming even more prevalent amongst people. In fact, a German psychotherapist also discovered that there was now a higher rate of depression amongst people who shop online compulsively. For the study, around 112 participants were surveyed, all of whom were addicted to online shopping. It was found that around 33.6% of them showed signs of probable online BSD.
Well, this goes to show that depression, anxiety and other health issues can manifest themselves in multiple forms. One just needs to learn to recognize the signs and get the appropriate help. Stay tuned for more updates.