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when you shop to feel better

Sales can generate an increase in purchases of products that we don’t really need, a particularly complex period for people who are addicted to acquiring, what in psychology is called “oniomania” Why do they buy to feel better?

Known as “oniomania”shopping addiction is a pathology that consists of an irresistible impulse to buy.

Sale periods, where discounts are the main protagonists, are especially complicated for people who suffer from this addiction, since they have to fight more than ever with this impulsivity.

EFEsalut interview with Estefania Marcos de Lima, psychologist at Vithas Xanit International Hospitalto delve into this type of addiction.

Who is more likely to develop this pathology?

Oniomania usually appears in youth, usually at the end of adolescence and in young adults, according to the psychologist.

Although it specifies that it is usually given more to women, since despite not being one of the most studied disorders in terms of prevalence, it is closely linked to issues of anxiety and depression.

“As we know, these disorders tend to happen more in women than in men, because of the way they may experience certain situations”, he explains.

What are the risk factors?

The expert emphasizes two risk factors: psychological and the sociocultural.

Sociocultural factors

“We live in a society where what is being valued is the physical appearance and what we have on a material level. In this way, if we associate being able to buy with being a valuable or successful person, it will be normalized that this is what needs to be done”, he explains to EFEsalut.

On the other hand, he points out that the ease with which certain payment methods such as credits can now be accessed means that people can buy more quickly and easily, which stimulates these compulsive purchases.

Psychological factors

At a psychological level, it indicates some causes such as:

  • Not regulating emotions properly.
  • Impulsivity.
  • Lack of self-esteem.

“The affected person uses this strategy to manage the negative emotions and discomfort they feel. The problem is, that although at first it feels relief, in the long term the problem remains”, says Marcos de Lima.

However, this transitory relief will be followed by an increase in the level of anxiety due to feelings of guilt that will arise after having bought unnecessarily.

“They use it as a mechanism to compensate, to feel better”, he points out.

Oniomania shopping addiction sales
EFE/Javier Cebollada

What is the prognosis?

The psychologist points out that the prognosis it usually is favorablesince despite being an addiction, it does not generate as much dependence as other types of addictions, such as alcohol and drugs, can create.

“In the end, the object-problem is still material, it is not a substance that can be modifying your physiology”, he points out.

In this same line, it is important to work with the person and recognize the problem. That he realizes that the strategies he is carrying out to deal with this discomfort are not correct and that, therefore, he begins to change his thoughts in order to gain control of the situation.

Recommendations to avoid oniomania or shopping addiction

Vithas experts emphasize different suggestions in order to avoid these compulsive purchases:

  • Apply the technique of to wait about ten minutes before buying.
  • Consider the following question before you buy an item: Could you live without it? and especially How will I feel five days from now if I purchase this product?
  • Think about what other things you could invest this money in, for become aware of “needs” that can be had, and where to derive the expenses.
  • Keep in mind that it is important to shop not to satisfy anxiety, impulse or low mood, but because article is really necessary.
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