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 behavior 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 behaviors which create a feel-good chemical response in the brain that 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!