Oh Great, Online Shopping Is Apparently A Mental Disorder Now

by Stephanie Maida · November 14, 2019

    Well, we didn't exactly need a psychiatrist to tell us that we binge-shop when we're feeling anxious or depressed. But like, we also binge-shop when we're feeling happy, excited, drunk, and/or especially skinny.

    Nevertheless, a new study in Comprehensive Psychiatry claims that the urge to digitally fill our carts is indeed a facet of mental illness: Buying-Shopping Disorder (BSD), or actual Shopaholicism, as it were. 

    While BSD has been recognized under the umbrella of "Impulse Control Disorders" for decades, the study claims that the increased accessibility and anonymity of the internet has fueled a whole new problem.

    "The Internet offers a vast variety of shopping information and simultaneous access to many online stores, thereby meeting expectations for immediate reward, emotional enhancement and identity gain. Previous studies showed that certain Internet-specific aspects such as availability, anonymity, accessibility, and affordability contribute to the development of an online subtype of BSD."

    In the extreme, the disorder can cause a person to go into crazy amounts of debt (obviously), lie about or hide their purchases, and fuel tension between loved ones.

    So, if you think you're veering a bit too close to the edge there, it might be best to resist temptation for a while - unless you stumble upon some Phoebe Philo-era Celine. Then just call your therapist after pressing "ship."