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Compulsive Shopping

For women, compulsive shopping will often involve clothing items, shoes, jewellery, cosmetics, and household items. For men, compulsive shopping will often involve electronic, automotive or hardware goods, clothing and shoes.

For assistance and therapeutic advice/help with your compulsive shopping contact Dr Vicki Fowler.

What is compulsive shopping?

Compulsive buying is associated with an excessive urge to purchase items and the spending of currency where purchasing of the product gives the individual an immediate “lift” but is often followed after the purchase by feelings of guilt and distress. “Shop Till You Drop” is a familiar phrase in consumerism and retail therapy. Making secret purchases, hiding bought goods, not opening products or items purchased, lowered self-control and low resistance to external triggers increasing “the urge to shop” accompany this disorder. Individuals affected by compulsive buying disorder will often have marriage, relationship and employment problems, credit history problems, defaulted loans, debt and anxiety and/or depression especially where compulsive shopping is used as a coping mechanism for anxiety and low self-esteem.


Compulsive shopping definition

Oniomania (Emil Kraepelin 1924) refers to compulsive buying disorder (CBD) where an individual “obsessed about shopping and buying” experiences adverse consequences. The urge to consistently shop is time-consuming, excessive and expensive and has been characterised as an “impulse control disorder” resulting in gross social, personal and/or financial difficulties. Compulsive buying disorder often co-occurs with mood, anxiety, substance abuse and eating disorders. A low tolerance for negative mood states and a limited comprehension of how mood-states drive behaviour characterises individuals experiencing compulsive buying disorder.

Make an enquiry

Do you or a loved one have a problem with compulsive shopping? Dr Vicki is here to help. Contact her by following the form below: