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Are you a shopaholic?

Are you a shopaholic?

Most people hear the term "shopaholic" and they think of someone who needlessly buys things even when he or she has sufficient supply. Often, this term is used as a way to tease someone who likes shopping but the truth is, compulsive shopping can be a symptom of a real psychological disorder, professionally referred to as Oniomania. This can affect one's day to day activities and personal relationships as well.

Oniomania can often occur in conjunction with bipolar disorder and other depressive conditions. Compulsive behaviour in general provides temporary relief from a variety of difficult feelings such as low mood, low self-esteem, intense anxiety and tensions in personal relationships. Sometimes, individuals may be genetically predisposed to addictive behaviours which create a feel good chemical response in the brain which can be expressed in different ways - drugs, food, sex and shopping.

Treatment for oniomania includes intervention followed by support group therapy and one-on-one psychological sessions. There is no standard treatment for this condition; medications, such as antidepressants, may also be used.

Here are a few symptoms of oniomania:

• Shopping or spending money as a result of being disappointed, scared or angry
• Feeling lost without credit or purchasing cards
• Shopping habits causing emotional distress or chaos in one's life
• Lying to others about the cost and how much money they spent
• Feeling guilty or confused after shopping or spending money
• Thinking excessively about money
• Spending or shopping causes a rush of euphoria and anxiety at the same time

If you feel like you have this problem of compulsive shopping, seek professional help!

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