Buying: A holiday-driven impulse Buying: A holiday-driven impulse

The out-of-control desire to buy things is rooted in primal emotions such as sadness or dreariness and is considered a disorder, which during the holiday season, can be heightened.

Making responsible purchases comes from a desire to meet needs or from a simple occasional pleasure; however, when purchasing a product or service becomes an uncontrollable frenzy to obtain things, this could be a case of oniomania. This is a modern disorder that is caused by social and cultural influences involving the desire to create a status through material goods.

A study from the Universidad Autónoma de México describes this condition as the following: “An uncontrollable desire to buy something that is so strong that it causes anxiety, and once the item is purchased, the individual gets a feeling of euphoria followed by guilt or even depression for not having the resources to pay.” The university adds that while men are not immune to this disorder, women are most affected by it.

While falling into the uncontrollable act of purchasing – even beyond a person’s financial means – is a modern condition that is still not considered an illness by diagnostic manuals for mental disorders, it shares neurological similarities with pathological gambling – considered an addictive behavior.

Involuntary thoughts that become an obsession and cognitive disorders are what most affect decision-making. This condition not only ends up affecting people’s personal and financial lives, it can also affect relationships and family life.

Keep in mind

If someone realizes they have obsessive behavior in purchasing things, the recommendation is to see a healthcare professional immediately in order to reduce the duration of this behavior.

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