My (Window) Shopping Addiction



Definition: Oniomania is the psychiatric term for compulsive shopping, or shopping addiction. People with oniomania shop on impulse as a way of coping and find it difficult to control their spending or shopping behaviors.

I remember watching a Tyra show featuring shopping addicts…  One woman said that the anticipation of bringing her purchases to the register made her physically anxious.  Her body would produce sweat and her hands would shake but it would all stop after the transaction was complete.  Shopping gave her a high that made her happy for a little while, but then it would fade.  And then she’d have to do it again. (Yup, just like that one quote from Confessions of a Shopaholic!)

Though this is an extreme case,  I can certainly relate.   I think that anyone who loves to shop has the same familiar  feelings. Like most women I’m constantly pining for those new purses, shoes, and clothes… but at the end of the day I’m wary of forking over the cash for it.  I’ve been raised to be frugal, and as a result I can only spend so much in one outing without feeling terrible about myself.  I think my magical number is roughly $50 max.  And that’s pushing it.

Most women shop when they’re stressed, hungry, tired, or lonely.  Me?  I shop when I’m bored.

I go to the mall when there’s nothing else to do.  When I feel like I need me time, I go window shopping.  It relaxes me.  I live for comparison-shopping, checking out the latest merchandise, and trying on the latest trends just for the heck of it.  I just love to see what’s out there.  It helps me discover my tastes, my dream style, or to see how far I can push myself when it comes to trends, or colors, or what have you.  Comparison shopping ensures that you get the best deals, but along the way there are so many temptations!  I’d say about 60% of the time I don’t intend to buy anything but it happens anyway.

Avoiding the mall is effective, but only up to a point.  I’ve tried to stop myself from heading to the mall when there’s nothing else to do, but a ban might just make me go overboard.  There are too many fashion blogs to read, too many inspirational images to take note of, and too much marketing!  I love thrifting, I love browsing, I love comparison shopping, and I don’t think that will ever go away.  Sometimes it’s just hard to find a balance without going too crazy.