Addiction to online shopping could be just as dangerous as other addictions according to therapists who marked it as a mental health disorder.
While the buying-shopping disorder [BSD] has been present for decades, experts have now suggested that the issue is ever-growing, whereas 1 in 20 people allegedly suffers from the disorder.
The main symptom of BSD is an excessive urge to buy things, especially through online channels, even when the person doesn’t actually need the stuff.
The disorder often results in hoarding mountains of items that often end up being unused. In addition, people may end up in debts or arguments with their family members and loved ones due to a lack of self-control.
“It really is time to recognize BSD as separate mental health condition and to accumulate further knowledge about BSD on the Internet,” Hannover Medical School’s psychotherapist Dr. Astrid Müller said.
In their study, Müller’s team analyzed over 120 patients who sought help due to their addiction to online shopping.
What the researchers found was that the presence of anxiety and depression in people with BSD was unusually high. In addition, these individuals were more likely to exhibit “extreme distress,” various other mental problems, and have problems in their private lives.
As the experts also suggested, the online channels present a straight path for people to get addicted to shopping due to ease of access and the comfort associated with shopping from home.
“We hope that our results showing that the prevalence of addictive online shopping among treatment-seeking patients with BSD will encourage future research addressing the distinct phenomenological characteristics, underlying features, associated comorbidity, and specific treatment concepts,” the psychiatrist added of the study that got published in Comprehensive Psychiatry.
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