What is Compulsive Buying Disorder?
People with Compulsive Buying Disorder (CBD, sometimes called Compulsive Shopping Disorder) frequently have an overwhelming drive to buy things regardless of the consequences.
Characteristics of compulsive shopping disorder include:
- Difficulty avoiding making unnecessary purchases
- Financial problems brought on by excessive shopping
- Obsession with buying unnecessary goods
- Issues at job, school, or home brought on by excessive shopping
- Putting a lot of time into studying desired items and/or going shopping for things you don't need
Last but not least, for a condition to be classified as compulsive buying disorder, the behaviors must not be linked to another mental health issue, such as episodes of hypomania or mania with bipolar disorder.
The concern with shopping, prepurchase tension or anxiety, and postpurchase relief are all reported by CBD-treated people. Significant mental comorbidity, including mood and anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, eating disorders, and other impulse control disorders are all linked to CBD. Mood and substance use disorders are common in families where compulsive buying tends to run in the family. If your family experiences any of these disorders or symptoms, contact a Florida mental health counselor.
Many compulsive shoppers use their behavior as a coping strategy to hide negative feelings including tension, anxiety, and low self-esteem. However, buying just offers them momentary comfort from their problems. The tremendous sense of remorse and shame they eventually experience as a result of their inability to restrain their purchasing is frequently felt by patients with CBD.
When does the behavior become abnormal?
Many people occasionally go on shopping sprees, especially around special occasions. You are not a compulsive shopper, however, just because you occasionally overspend. In actuality, the amount of money spent has little to do with obsessive purchasing.
The severity of the preoccupation, the degree of emotional anguish, and the emergence of negative outcomes are what actually define the illness. Many people who shop compulsively also have one of the following co-occurring mental health issues:
- Eating disorders, including bulimia and binge eating disorder
- Impulse control disorders
- Mood disorders
- Personality disorders
- Substance abuse disorders
There is some evidence that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help persons with compulsive shopping realize how they use shopping as a coping method and learn more effective coping mechanisms. You can employ various self-help techniques to manage your symptoms if you struggle with compulsive buying.
It’s important to remember that there is help. If you or someone you love is experiencing increasing difficulty in your finances or relationships due to overspending and excessive shopping, reach out to a Florida psychotherapist for help.