It is not just about spending for spending. The impulse goes beyond. It is an unreflective and irrepressible act. Experts from the Therapeutic Assistance Center of Barcelona (CAT) say that this is a excessive, uncontrolled and recurrent eagerness which we later regret, because we buy unhelpful things or spend more than we can.
Although the typical profile of compulsive buyer He has identified himself more with a woman, around thirty years of age, without a specific social class, who has developed this habit by buying clothing, shoes, jewelry and beauty products; there are also men affected by this compulsion. Their preferences opt for electrical appliances and tools for the home.
For CAT experts, nobody knows what the future of this new syndrome will be, about to be cataloged among the mental disorders . Maybe everything stays in a temporary fad or perhaps acquires the dimensions of an epidemic.
According to specialists, the compulsive purchase is developed through two mechanisms: in some cases, it is acquired basically by repeating a behavior that at first is pleasant and then performed compulsively; while in other cases, this behavior must be understood predominantly as an evasion, as an inadequate form of face personal problems .
Compulsive shoppers can be found at all socioeconomic levels and buy things for themselves or exclusively for others. Often a mother justifies her purchases by giving gifts to her children. It is also frequent that what you buy, not even be used.
The doctors of the CAT Barcelona point out that in the treatment of this addiction , the first thing to do is to understand the disorder within a broader context. There are no "exclusive" medications for a specific pathology called compulsive buyer Therefore, it is important to prioritize the diagnosis.
Some recent studies point to the efficacy of some inhibitors of certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin (closely related to mood), although behavioral therapies have also shown their usefulness. They point from the CAT, that in the treatment of addiction it is essential to go through this psychotherapeutic phase, to avoid that the symptoms resurface, and the exclusive use of pharmacotherapy is discouraged.
After 12 years of researching compulsive shopping addiction, Lane Benson, a psychologist from New York, founded one of the few pages devoted to shopping addiction (www.stoppingovershopping.com). Its program includes a book that helps those affected identify and explore the causes that pushes them to buy compulsively and, consequently, offers them different tools to stop their addiction. It also explains the economic, personal and family consequences of this disorder.