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Oniomania, also known as compulsive shopping or shopping addiction, is a behavioural disorder characterised by an uncontrollable urge to shop and make unnecessary purchases, leading to negative consequences. Here are some key points about oniomania:

  1. Symptoms: Individuals with oniomania often experience a strong and persistent urge to shop, even when they don’t need the items or can’t afford them. They may engage in excessive shopping, spend a significant amount of time and money on shopping, and find it difficult to resist the urge to shop. Other signs may include buying items impulsively, feeling a temporary sense of satisfaction or relief after making a purchase, and experiencing distress, guilt, or anxiety related to their shopping behaviour.
  2. Causes: The exact causes of oniomania are not fully understood, but it is believed to be influenced by a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. People with oniomania may have underlying emotional issues, such as low self-esteem, anxiety, or depression, which shopping serves as a coping mechanism for. Advertising and easy access to online shopping platforms can also contribute to the development and reinforcement of oniomania.
  3. Impact on individuals and finances: Oniomania can have significant negative effects on individuals’ lives and financial well-being. Excessive shopping can lead to financial difficulties, debt, and strained relationships. Individuals may experience feelings of guilt, shame, or regret after shopping binges, which can further impact their emotional well-being.
  4. Treatment options: Treatment for oniomania typically involves a combination of therapy, support groups, and, in some cases, medication. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is often used to help individuals identify and change their shopping-related thoughts and behaviours. It aims to develop healthier coping strategies and address underlying emotional issues. Support groups, such as Debtors Anonymous or Shopaholics Anonymous, provide a supportive environment for individuals to share their experiences and receive guidance from others facing similar challenges.
  5. Self-help strategies: There are also self-help strategies that can be beneficial for managing oniomania. These include identifying triggers and developing strategies to avoid or cope with them, setting budgets and financial limits, practicing mindful shopping by questioning the necessity of purchases, seeking alternative sources of fulfilment and stress relief, and building a support network of friends and family who can provide encouragement and accountability.
  6. Seek professional help: If you believe you may be struggling with oniomania and it is negatively impacting your life, it is important to seek professional help. A mental health professional, such as a therapist or counsellor, can provide a comprehensive evaluation, diagnosis, and appropriate treatment recommendations tailored to your needs.

Remember, recognising and addressing oniomania is important for regaining control over your shopping behaviours and improving your overall well-being. Seeking support from professionals and engaging in self-help strategies can be valuable steps toward recovery.

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