Whether it’s a fancy new face cream, a fresh outfit, or that kitchen appliance you’ve been thinking about for a while, treating yourself to something nice feels good.
The positive feelings we experience during a shopping session has led to the popularisation of the term ‘retail therapy’, where people make purchases based on their emotional impulses rather than rational thinking. But when does the little rush of pleasure at the point of purchase turn into a more serious compulsion?
In the age of online shopping, addiction experts say there’s a need for a greater understanding and recognition of just how damaging a condition like shopping addiction can be, and the trickle-down impact it can have on relationships, work, finances and emotions.
Also known as ‘oniomania’, compulsive buying is a difficult addiction to spot, because we live in a society that encourages us to consume and chase after the next must-have purchase.