Are You a Shopaholic?


Courtesy of Google Images

Shopping may seem like a stress reliever for some, but others may take it too far.

Shopping is defined as the action or activity of purchasing goods from stores. Shopping may be enjoyable by a lot of people, but sometimes it can go too far. CBD, more commonly known as Compulsive Buying Disorder, is characterized by excessive shopping and buying behavior that leads to distress or impairment. Generally, a person will be having emotions of loneliness, depression, feel out of control in a particular area, and seek to spend money in order to relieve the stress. 

Found worldwide, the disorder has a lifetime prevalence of 5.8% in the U.S general population. Most of these subjects studied are 80% women. Subjects with CBD report a preoccupation with shopping, pre-purchase tension or anxiety, and a sense of relief following the purchase. CBD is associated with particularly mood and anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, eating disorders, and other disorders of impulse control. Psychology teacher, August Lahue, admitted that CBD is more common among those who have more money. 

“I have someone in my family who is bipolar and she goes into manic episodes. She’s real bad like stuff will just start showing up to people’s houses what she orders so people like that. It affects people with a lot of money, stay at home moms that don’t have anything else to do while dad is at work all day long making a bunch of money,” said Lahue.

People with CBD are preoccupied with shopping, spending, and devoting their time to these habits. While it may be argued that a person could be a compulsive shopper and not spend, like  interests in window shopping, this pattern is uncommon. People with CBD often describe an increasing level of urge or anxiety that can only lead to a sense of completion when a purchase is made. Lahue compares CBD, its symptoms, and its habits of excessively shopping to addiction.

“It’s an addiction like anything else so some people get high off of drugs, some people get high off of working out, some people get high off of eating, so these people are getting high off of shopping. It’s like a rush to them like they can find a good deal. They feel like they’re getting good deals so they have to have it,” said Lauhe. 

Shopping addiction may be difficult to manage since making purchases is a normal part of day to day life. Everyone has to purchase food regularly, and things like clothing, personal products, and cars from time to time. However, simply ceasing to buy can’t treat a shopping addiction. Lahue said the best type of solution for CBD can be treated with behavioral therapy and individual counseling. 

“The solution for CBD would be seeking some therapy like counseling, talking through some stuff. Worst case scenario, there might have to be some medication getting involved at that point, but I would think definitely getting therapy and talking through some stuff probably helps the most because that can make a family go bankrupt. It would not only cause harm on that person, but it could cause harm on spouses and kids and family things like that. They might start stealing credit cards or something,” said Lahue.

Mia Hernandez, senior, who works in retail said she often sees two types of customers. The first being a regular shopper who doesn’t buy many items and the other shopper who has a cart or two filled to the top with a variety of items from the store. Hernandez said that sometimes she gets overwhelmed and wishes that another fellow cashier would take the customers with the full shopping cart instead.

“Customers usually buy very few items or they have a full shopping cart. Those customers who buy a lot almost never pay attention and make the process more difficult. As a cashier, I have a lot of customers who come up with a full cart of stuff and my immediate reaction is that I wish someone else would’ve called that customer,” said Hernandez.  

Junior, Alex Robb, believes that with the pandemic online shopping has become more popular and people are starting to buy items online more than usual. Robb also believes that shopping addiction should be treated professionally before it can turn into something that is worse than it already is and cause more problems mentally.

“I think shopping addiction is a serious problem, especially with online shopping at an all time high. I feel it should be treated professionally and taken care of before it could develop into something a bit crazier,” said Robb.

Like other addictions, a compulsive shopper can relapse. But with the right support and help, they can learn coping strategies and get back on the road to recovery. Despite the multiple challenges recovery can face, a person with CBD can learn to manage the addiction and adopt healthier spending behaviors without overspending or maxing out credit cards.