Online Shopping Addiction? It Could Be Impulse Control Disorder

This article was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.

Everyone knows what it’s like to experience a surge of joy at making a purchase or receiving a gift. In fact, many of us have become arguably addicted to the pleasure of purchasing.

And with the rise of online shopping—only exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic—it makes sense that many people have spent more time making online purchases or Impulse Control Disorder.

While you may feel genuinely happy when you online shop, it can easily become an addiction that negatively impacts your finances and mental health.

In fact, if you are a true shopaholic, it might be due to impulse control disorder. So, read on to learn more about shopping addiction and impulse control disorder.

Impulse Control Disorder 101

A person with an impulse control disorder, according to the website of the American Addiction Centers, will tend to have difficulty properly regulating their behaviors and emotions.

People with impulse control disorder may have a particular issue, such as pyromania, kleptomania, conduct disorder, or oppositional defiant disorder.

As you might imagine from the above examples, impulse control disorder can greatly disrupt the well-being of the person with the disorder as well as those around them.

The good thing is that today we have a better understanding about impulse control disorders than in the past, and you can get lots of helpful advice on the topic online from resources such as BetterHelp.

Are You Addicted to Shopping?

So, if you feel like you’re become addicted to shopping, it might be due to impulse control disorder. This specific example is known as “compulsive buying disorder.”

But how can you really be sure it’s an actual addiction and not just that you have a penchant for buying things online?

In essence, it’s an addiction when you have trouble controlling your urges and it negatively affects your life. So, here are five ways that may indicate that you have compulsive buying disorder.

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You’re Always Thinking About Shopping

If you’re always thinking about shopping, even when it’s inappropriate, this may be a good sign that you’re addicted. Yes, it may be normal to occasionally have a shopping urge, but it should not be a constant, all-day everyday-type thing.

You Lie About Your Purchases

Have you lied about your purchases? Doing so means that you’re very likely trying to cover up your addiction or make it seem like what you’re doing isn’t as bad as it really is.

Lying often comes from a place of shame, so you should reflect on whether or not you’ve lied—or simply been dishonest—about your purchasing behaviors. Remember that lying is taking a big risk for your personal relationships, so you may be compromising them (not to mention your financial well-being).

Your Relationships Are in Trouble

If your personal relationships are suffering because of your shopping habits, it’s a strong indicator that you may be overdoing it.

For example, do you spend less time with the people in your life because you’re constantly attached to your phone and computer to online shop? If so, it’s likely that your shopping habit has become an addiction.

Your Shopping Is a Coping Mechanism

If your shopping habits help you to cope with any negativity or pain you have in your life, it may have become a full-on addiction. Remember that addiction is often a way that people are trying to cope with physical and/or mental discomfort or pain.

If shopping seems to be the only way you can feel good, consider changing your habits to live a healthier life (and save money at the same time).

Your Overall Well-being Is Suffering

If you genuinely have impulse control disorder, then that means it is negatively affecting your overall well-being. So, if you are feeling guilty, ashamed, or depressed about your shopping habits, then it’s quite possible that you’ve reached addiction.

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Impulse control disorder is often underlying excessive online shopping. When this is the case, it’s known as compulsive buying disorder, and it affects millions of people all around the world. After all, online shopping is easier than ever before. If you need help breaking free from your unhealthy online shopping habits, you may want to consider reaching out to your doctor or another mental healthcare provider.

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