Recognize online shopping addiction as an independent mental disorder

Recognize online shopping addiction as an independent mental disorder

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When shopping online becomes a problem

Some people are really addicted to shopping online. According to a recent study, the dependence on online shopping should be recognized as a real mental disorder in the future.

In the current study by the Hannover Medical School (MHH) and the University of Duisburg-Essen, it was found that online sopping should be rated as a real mental disorder. The results of the study were published in the English language journal "Comprehensive Psychiatry".

More and more people are suffering from online shopping addiction

The so-called buying shopping disorder (BSD) has been known for decades, but researchers report that the disease takes on a new meaning in the Internet age and now affects significantly more people. For example, people suffering from addiction to shopping online can build up substantial debts, develop difficulties with their families and even lose complete self-control.

Online shopping addiction was neglected for a long time

It's really time to recognize online shopping addiction as an independent mental health condition. This form of the disease has remained undetected for far too long, the researchers emphasize.

Addiction to shopping was often associated with depression and anxiety

The data from 122 people were evaluated in the study. These people were looking for help with their online shopping addiction. It was found that the people affected had a higher rate of depression and anxiety than was normal. In addition, the increase in the range of online shops, shopping apps and opportunities to have purchased products delivered directly to your home gives the topic of online shopping addiction a whole new dimension.

What makes online shopping so attractive?

The internet has made shopping more accessible, anonymous, and affordable. Online shops are open 24 hours a day, people can buy things without being in touch with shopkeepers, and purchased items do not have to be transported home. In addition, companies like Amazon can offer many items much cheaper than in normal shops.

More young people suffer from addiction to shopping

As a result, more and more young people are showing signs of addiction to shopping and shopping difficulties. Currently, however, BSD is not yet classified as an independent disorder, but is only part of a category of diseases.

How widespread is shopping addiction?

About five percent of the population suffers from severe psychological effects from their addiction. These people deserve to be given more attention. Online shopping addiction can trigger real buying impulses in affected persons and leads to satisfaction, which is triggered by the spending of money.

Consequences of online shopping addiction

For example, a loss of self-control, debts, other psychological problems and relationship difficulties can arise. The results of the study will hopefully lead to online shopping addiction being viewed as an independent mental state of health and specific treatment concepts being promoted, the research team concluded. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Astrid Müller, Sabine Steins-Loeber, Patrick Trotske, Birte Vogel, Ekaterini Georgiadoud, Martina de Zwaan: Online shopping in treatment-seeking patients with buying-shopping disorder, in Comprehensive Psychiatry (query: November 15, 2019), Comprehensive Psychiatry

Video: Are you Addicted to Shopping? Or is it Someone you know? (February 2023).