Put Down Your Credit Card: Study Confirms Online Shopping Addiction Is A Mental Disorder

Put Down Your Credit Card: Study Confirms Online Shopping Addiction Is A Mental Disorder

Shopping online is almost every girl's weakness--after all, who doesn't like shopping from the comfort of their couch and have the products delivered right to their doorsteps? However, while we've been throwing around the term 'addicted to online shopping' quite casually, recent studies have shown that it is a very real mental health condition. 

The reports surfaced after a study was conducted by Dr Müller, a psychotherapist and her colleagues at Hannover Medical School in Germany. The research monitored 122 patients who were seeking help for their online shopping addiction. During the study, Dr Müller's team found that those struggling with the addiction had higher than usual rates of depression and anxiety. 

The scientists believe the condition has worsened with the increase of online shopping portals, apps and home delivery services, which has taken the concept of being a shopaholic to a whole new level. You see, a real-life shopping addiction might have its limitations--because the mall is bound to shut down at some point. However, the internet never closes, which means that buyers can whip out their credit card and indulge in shopping without having to leave their home or interact with other people.


The medical term for this condition is called Buying-Shopping Disorder (BSD) and Dr Müller's team of researchers believe that it affects 5% of the population. While BSD is recognised in the medical field, it is yet to be classified as a disorder of its own. Presently, it falls under the category of ‘other specified impulse control disorders’.

Dr Müller believes that BSD has gone unrecognised for too long and that it deserves more serious attention as it is thought to have serious mental effects. Their research found that BSD, particularly online shopping addiction, can result in a loop of extreme cravings for buying things and satisfaction when spending money. This can result in the cravings leading to a breakdown in self-control, ‘extreme distress’ as well as other psychiatric problems.

In fact, BSD can also result in serious debt, hoarding problems and relationship issues--so it can very much affect your overall lifestyle.

While you may love shopping, we urge you to be more mindful of your habits and think hard before you hit the 'add to cart' button!

Featured Image: Shutterstock

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