BERLIN (dpa) – Going on an occasional shopping spree is a common enough occurrence for most people.
But if those shopping sprees keep adding up and the buyer only briefly gains any satisfaction or a feeling of reward, then it could be a sign of a psychological disorder, German psychotherapists warn.
People with the shopping-spree urge often quickly try to hoard, hide, and forget what they have bought out of the sense of shame and the bad conscience that follows, the German Society for Psychosomatic Medicine and Medicinal Psychotherapy (DGPM) reports.
In many cases, compulsive buying appears in combination with other psychological disorders such as depression.
A phase of depression, tension or boredom can precede a sudden splurge of buying. Shopping provides only brief relief, however.
Before those afflicted seek psychotherapy, they have often been plunged into social, financial and legal difficulties.
The DGPM therefore advises those who realise they have a shopping compulsion to seek therapy as early as possible.