Dependence on online shopping is likely to increase. Unlike classic stores, the Internet is much easier to lose control of, but also your funds.
Shopping addiction should be recognized as a mental disorder, with distinct symptoms and characteristics, with an increasing number of people now showing worrying signs of obsessive behavior in the context of online shopping accessibility, psychiatrists say, according to dailymail.co.uk.
The shopping syndrome (BSD) has been known for several decades, but according to experts, it has acquired a new meaning in the age of the Internet, currently affecting one in 20 people. People obsessed with online shopping may face the following problems: storing too many purchased items, accumulating debt, quarreling with loved ones, or losing self-control.
"It's really time to recognize BSD as a distinct mental disorder and gather more information about BSD manifested in the online environment," said Astrid Muller, a psychotherapist at the Medical School in Hannover, Germany, one of the study's authors.
In the research, scientists analyzed data from 122 patients who sought specialist help for shopping addiction and found that they were experiencing higher levels of depression and anxiety. According to researchers, the increase in the number of online stores, shopping applications and home delivery services have added a whole new dimension to shopping addiction, writes Agerpres.
The Internet has transformed the purchases, which have become more available, anonymous, accessible and financially convenient.
Online stores are open non-stop, and people can buy without interacting with a seller or having to transport them to their home. Any product can be purchased from the online environment, and sites such as Amazon and Boohoo offer significant price reductions.
Currently, BSD is not considered a distinct mental condition, but belongs to a category called "other impulse control disorders".
Affecting 5% of the population and having significant mental effects, the shopping syndrome deserves to be analyzed more closely, German researchers say.
BSD, and especially the form manifested in the online environment, can trigger a loop of extreme desires to buy things, accompanied by the satisfaction of spending money. This can result in problems of self-control, "extreme stress", other psychiatric problems, relational difficulties, physical disorder and debt.
"We hope that our findings, which show the prevalence of online shopping addiction among BSD patients undergoing treatment, will encourage future studies addressing distinct phenomenological features, associated features, associated co-morbidity, and specific treatment concepts," Muller said. .
The study was published in the journal Comprehensive Psychiatry.