Diagnosis "Shopping addiction": When pleasure becomes a burden

They are highly valued customers and regularly ensure good sales. But behind the facade of the wealthy and patronizing client is sometimes also human suffering and a strong addiction: buying addiction. According to a study by the University of Hohenheim, one in four people have problems controlling their buying behavior, or they regularly use buying to compensate for deficits. Five to eight percent of adults are therefore "very interested in buying." When the frustration of buying after a dispute with colleagues or the partner becomes a habit and the urge to buy to an uncontrollable compulsion, professional help is needed.

Symptoms and consequences of buying addiction

Similar to drug addicts, the interests of addicts are increasingly narrowing to buying, which ultimately remains as the only means of satisfaction. Social contacts are becoming increasingly unimportant. In order to get the well-known feeling of happiness, more and more expensive goods are being bought more and more often.

The search expert Inga Margraf explains: "The range of withdrawal symptoms ranges from an inner restlessness to malaise, to psychosomatic illnesses and suicidal thoughts, and those affected and their relatives should take the problem seriously." The addicts are less concerned with possession of things. The sufferers rather long for the euphoric or reassuring feeling, but also for the confirmation and attention that they feel when buying.

Women more often shopping

Inga Margraf: "The addiction hits all income and education layers." According to studies, however, younger consumers and women are disproportionately represented. Most shopaholics specialize in individual product groups such as shoes, food or technical equipment. Others are looking for a very specific buying environment - such as boutiques, supermarkets or order catalogs - or only accept discounted goods.

The buying spree is usually followed by a guilty conscience, guilt and remorse. "In some cases, addicts even end up with their company's petty cash, their children's savings, or spoil the holiday reserves to fund their addictions, " explains Margraf. The goods would often not even unpacked or used. "At an advanced stage, the goods are even hidden, given away or thrown away unused for fear of the family."

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