After analysing data collected in 2016, the study found that buying-shopping disorder apparently affected 5% of the population, but is yet to be categorised as an official disorder. The study also found that women were the most likely demographic to suffer from the disorder. The researchers hypothesise that the ease and anonymity of online shopping is making it easier for these people to feed their addictions.
The study suggests that:
“Buying-shopping disorder (BSD) is characterized by extreme preoccupations with and craving for buying/shopping and by irresistible and identity-seeking urges to possess consumer goods. Patients with BSD buy more consumer goods than they can afford, and those are neither needed nor frequently used. The excessive purchasing is primarily used to regulate emotions, e.g. to get pleasure, relief from negative feelings, or coping with self-discrepancy.”
The study provides an interesting insight into the way the digital world can affect our lives without us even knowing it!