Can hoarding money be an addiction

Shopping addiction

Consumption encourages shopping addiction

According to a study by the University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim published in the early 1990s, the lure of consumption has made around half a million Germans morbidly addicted to shopping.

More recent estimates assume 600,000 to 800,000 shopaholics. Around the same number of adults in Germany are at great risk from shopping addiction.

Those severely affected only think about shopping all the time. They feel recognized during their shopping spree. What a normal consultation and sales conversation with the shoe seller is for the non-shopping addict is conveyed to the shopaholic: "I am important, I am recognized, my life has a meaning".

Each time the retailer's cash register rings and, in the worst case, the affected person's account is a few thousand euros emptier.

Brief intoxication with threatening consequences

All age groups and all income and educational levels are equally affected by shopping addiction.

But not everyone who is at risk is also considered to be addicted to shopping. One speaks of pathological shopping addiction only when the person concerned or his private environment suffers from it.

As with other types of addiction, almost all shopaholics have their preferences for specific products and shopping environments. Some hoard food bargains from the discounter, others stock up on expensive clothes in luxury boutiques, and still others order the fifth mixer from the catalog.

Women and men buy differently. Women live out their buying frenzy by purchasing clothes, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, food and books. Men are more likely to buy technical and fashion accessories as well as electrical and sports equipment.

Once the trophy has been paid for, the frenzy is over. At home it comes, mostly unpacked, into the cupboard that is already full of other trophies.

Therapies for shopping addiction

The buying frenzy brings satisfaction to the addict. It works like a sedative for anxiety and depression or like a happiness hormone when everyday problems are too much. As with other forms of addiction, this can lead to an increase in the dose, so that more and more expensive things are purchased.

The result is an ever higher level of debt, which can lead to financial ruin and threaten the existence of the company. This partially destroys private and professional life.

The problem with shopping addiction: Often it is not recognized early enough because it is not noticed. After all, everyone has to shop, and buying is socially accepted. Shopping addiction is one of the non-substance-related addictions and can therefore not be compared with other forms of addiction such as alcoholism or food addiction.

It can be caused by either an impulse control disorder, an addiction disorder, or an affective disorder such as depression. Shopping addiction can be successfully treated if the person concerned goes into behavior therapy. In less difficult cases, regular attendance at a self-help group can also lead to success.