/Compulsive Buying Disorder

Compulsive Buying Disorder

Shopping is natural thing in our daily life. Needs of daily life, for the loved one, for relatives, for society there is much more cause of shopping or buying. Sometimes we spend extra money for buying. It’s a normal behavior of our daily life. But this shopping is only in the stage of the disease when it is extra, unnecessary and emotional. In the psychology which is called Compulsive Buying Disorder (CBD) or oniomania.

In the last few decades, this disorder has been known to the world, but it has been mentioned in psychology since long ago. German psychiatrist Emil Crépillin described it in 1815 and Swiss psychiatrist Eugene Blurne in 1924.

According to the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5 (DSM5), the characteristics of compulsive buying disorder patients are indispensable desire to do extra, unnecessary purchases. If they do not buy something they suffer severe discomfort. After desired purchase, they are immediately relaxed. In most cases this pleasure is short-lived, and after some time they fall in depression, anger and frustration.

People of any level of society can have this problem. Community-based and clinical studies have found that between 80% to 90% of the patients are women. Usually, end of the adolescence and beginning of youth this disease occurs. It has been found in the study that those who have a family history of this disease, family emotions and anxiety related diseases, OCD, gambling and addiction. Besides more than 60% of this disorder cause of Personality Disorder (PD).

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) examination showed that the activities of the ventral striatum region of the brain increased and insular activities decreased. It has recently been proved that this neurotransmitter also causer this problem. The joy that comes after shopping is due to the emanation of dopamine and endorphin from the brain, which encourages the person to make more purchases.

According to psychological explanations, those who want to get more authorization or acceptance from others, who are self-respecting, who live in the stage of imagination and want to see themselves as very important and honourable or who are mentally upsetting the can suffer this disorder. Besides, fashion consciousness, product ads, social festival (Eid, Puja, Christmas, birthday, wadding etc.), materialistic and consumer-oriented social structure, shopping opportunities using credit cards, online shopping plays an important role of this reason.

There are various types of Compulsive Buyer

Trophy Buyer- Those who make extra purchases to eliminate mental disasters, disappointments.
Bulimic Buyer- After the purchase, those things return.
Bargain Buyer- those who make purchases during depreciation.
Perfectionist Buyer- Those who shop for getting the perfect things.
Collector- Those who want to keep a collection of items or each colour of a set.

Some people do not see compulsive buying as a disease until they become bankrupt. Because everyone likes to shop around. If there are four more signs of the following symptoms, then it will call disorder.

– Make extra shopping for a specific budget.

– Buying things that are not needed.

– Hide the problem to family or friends.

– Returning things after the purchase.

– Due to the worries of shopping, relationship deterioration.

– To be free from anger, sorrow, loneliness.

– Prefer to shop using the credit card.

– After shopping, feel guilty.

– Purchase to assert itself as a very difficult person in the eyes of society.

There is no healing treatment for Compulsive Buying Disorder. To make the patient aware of this and motivate them to come out of this problem is most important. Moreover, some therapies and some medicines play an effective role in getting rid of this problem. For example-

    1. Mindfulness Training- Through the training patient learns to control his/her impulse and to accept mental disasters.
   2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – This is more effective in a group setting. This helps the patient in identifying and correcting his abnormal thoughts and behavior. He is aware of long-term harmful consequences for his passing pleasure. As a source of joy, alternatives are encouraged in various works.
   3.  Relationship Counseling.
   4. Financial Counseling.
   5. Parental Counseling- The need for adolescents.
   6. Antidepressants – Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as (SSRI),citalopram.
   7. Anxiolytic- Benzodiazepines to make patient relax.
   8. Opioid antagonist- nelatrexone, nymphin, etc. are  also e ffective.

And some general suggestions for patients

If you identify any problem or impairment due to excessive buying accept it.

Consult with Psychiatrist

Try to buy things within budget

Share the problem with family and friends.

Go for shopping with someone

Avoid credit cards.

Internet shopping sites and television channels where advertisements for shopping will be avoided.

To make the mind better, such as exercise, swimming, reading books, listening to music should be practised.


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