Know About Shopping Addiction, Difference Between Impulsive and Compulsive Behavior

Know About Shopping Addiction, Difference Between Impulsive and Compulsive Behavior

Shopping behaviour can be considered as the trigger that makes a person shop for a particular product. It can be a deal you can’t lose to or an offer you can’t say no to or the instant urge to shop in order to feel good.

Impulsive as well as compulsive are two types of shopping behavior that have an adverse effect on a person’s Mental Health as well a person’s financial status. While reading it may feel that both impulsive and compulsive Shopping Behaviour are the same but there are some significant differences also which are mentioned later in the article. The article also talks about the details related to compulsive and impulsive shopping behaviour like the signs of this behaviour the results of this behaviour and so on.

Compulsive Shopping Disorder
Compulsive Shopping disorder is also known by the name oniomania. It is a compulsive disorder of shopping. Shopping provides a person an emotional lift that helps him/her to overcome the feeling of depression and Anxiety. However, this disorder creates financial and personal losses.

1. Almost 25 million Americans are suffering from this disorder.
2. In adults, 6% more women were there in comparison to men.
3. This disorder can be compared to drug and alcohol addiction.

The cycle of compulsive Shopping disorder

The cycle of compulsive Shopping disorder is a six-phase cycle. These are mentioned below:
Phase 1- People start to have a feeling of anxiety and depression which leads to them doing compulsive Shopping.
Phase 2- The consumer then shops in order to get an emotional lift to overcome the feeling of anxiety and depression.
Phase 3- While shopping the only thing matters is to shop and not other factors like the cost of the valuables or the amount of money being spent on shopping.
Phase 4- Once the consumer is satisfied with their buying now they become conscious about how much money they have spent and what things they have purchased, they even purchase things that are not even required by them at all.
Phase 5- This leads to a buildup of feelings of guilt and shame in the consumer.
Phase 6- This buildup of negative feelings again causes depression and Anxiety in the consumer and hence the consumer again starts shopping in order to get an emotional lift.
Signs of compulsive buying

1. Coping strategy- Shopping is often used as a coping strategy for dealing with negative emotions as shopping gifts an emotional lift to the person which helps the person in coping with negative emotions.
2. Shopping secretly- Sometimes the buyer may think of the judgment from others because of their compulsive Shopping habits and hence they start shopping securely without letting others know in this way they are able to satisfy their compulsion of shopping without the fear of getting judged.
3. Incapable The person is often not able to control or stop the urge of shopping. The urge is so large that the person’s will of stopping the urge becomes tiniest in front.
4. After negative Feelings– The person while shopping feels very good and they keep shopping until their urge of shopping is not satisfied however once the urge is satisfied the person then starts feeling negative emotions like the feeling of guilt and shamefulness.
5. High spending– This involves more shopping than one can even afford which often results in high credit card bills, high debts, and also relationship problems along with financial problems.



Impulsive shopping
Impulsive shopping is a type of shopping that happens when a person buys something unexpectedly that they were planning not to buy. This may be due to the fact that they saw a deal that they can’t miss pr because they were getting a huge discount or maybe there was a huge sale which for them was not worth missing it.

Signs of impulsive shopping
1. Instant Satisfaction– The buyer seeks an instant feeling of satisfaction. Shopping provides instant gratification to the person and hence the person starts to Shop more and more.
2. High expenditure Spending more on things than one intended to shop. Or spending more than what they actually thought they will before going shopping.
3. Trigger shopping- Going into stores for buying things that are triggering them to buy more can be any type of sale or deals that are very tempting in nature.
4. Negative Emotions– Feeling guilt and shame after purchasing because they have purchased something that they didn’t plan for and then regret.
5. Return- Return the items back to the store that they purchased due to their impulse. And if they are not able to return some items this cause more feeling of distress in them.

Difference between impulsive and compulsive Shopping
a) Nature of actions- Shopping involves repetitive actions whereas impulsive shopping involves unexpected actions.
b) Nature of response- Shopping arises in response to negative feelings whereas impulsive shopping arises with respect to immediate response.

Solutions for stopping compulsive Shopping
1. Acknowledgment – the fact that I am having a problem and I should try to work on it and identify the triggers and look for coping mechanisms for it.
2. Sharing- Telling about the problem whom you think you can trust can also be a beneficial step in controlling the urges.
3. Placing Boundaries- Placing boundaries in place around shopping as this will keep oneself away from Shopping places will lead to fewer urges than before.
4. Professional help- Go for the professional help from a therapist or a psychologist, etc if one is not able to cope with the urges on their own.
5. Minimal money- Always carry enough cash when going out so that even when you feel like spending more you get out of money.

Both compulsive and impulsive shopping behavior is becoming a serious problem for people nowadays. It’s an addiction many people are not able to cope with the urge of shopping and then keep on shopping. If one is not able to cope on their own then they should seek professional help like consulting a psychologist or a therapist.

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