Thursday, July 12, 2007

Oniomania: Shopping Addiction

After another fruitful trip to Forever 21, I decided to search for "shopping addiction" on Wikipedia.

Oniomania (from greek onios = "for sale" : coined by German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin) also known as shopping addiction or shopaholism, is the compulsive desire to shop.

Although not a DSM-IV recognized disorder, oniomania has recently received increased media attention. Similar to other compulsive behaviors, sufferers often experience the highs and lows associated with addiction. The purchase generates a mood of satisfaction for the addicted, seems to give their life a meaning and lets them forget about their sorrows. Usually back at home the feeling of a personal reward has already gone. To compensate, the addicted person goes shopping again. The bought goods will be hidden or destroyed, because the person concerned feels ashamed of their addiction and tries to conceal it.

The so-called shopoholics have not learned yet to cope with conflicts. Women in particular want to fight their unhappiness with their appearance by buying clothes, make-up and jewellery, men tend to buy technical equipment or computers instead.
Social conditions also play an important role: Buying is socially accepted and is supported. Credit cards facilitate the spending of money as well as mail orders via catalogues or the internet

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