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Shopaholic 2.0: how to recognize and treat the disease

We live in a world where each sound of the TV, computer and phone is a call to buy something. Advertising on the streets imposes another unnecessary dress and bloggers assert that there is no life without miraculous face cream with unknown composition and new shoes of the coming season. But how had we lived before? Where is the end of the healthy consumption and a start of the shopaholism?


Shopaholism or oniomania is an uncontrollable desire to buy something, regardless of the circumstances and consequences. As well as any disease, shopaholism has symptoms and effects. There are the reasons that gradually form a standard scenario. What are the reasons and how to help a shopaholic with their shopping addiction?


Scenario 1: The desire for luxury, or Heavy childhood. The classic case of this scenario was shown in the movie «Confessions of a Shopaholic.» If you wore clothes after older brothers and sisters, your mother tried to dress you on the local market or second-hand, and your wardrobe was limited by a half of the shelf, it’s your story. And for us, the Russians, it’s a double problem, since our consumption before and during the 90’s was very limited due to lack of funds and the limited supply of goods. In this variety it is too easy to get lost.


Scenario 2: «Loneliness is a bastard», or Lack of warmth. In this case, our best friend is Uncle Freud. But we do not speak now about it,we will discuss it in a more modern spirit and in more general terms. Lack of love in childhood (absence of one of the parents, undeveloped or exaggerated Oedipus or Electra complex) and now pushing us to look for happiness in another area — in a messy consumption. Rare meeting with friends, which are always busy, lack of attention and warmth from the family are easily compensated by the joy of a new dress, wonderful watches and bright socks… Did you recognize yourself? But this is only a short-term pleasure, so you go and buy something over and over again. Stores are so warm and good, and they are always glad to see you, because they want your money. For the money you will be offered with a cup of tea, friendly conversation with the consultant and fragrant interior, it brings you a calm and comfort, coziness, which is not enough in your home, which you don’t feel in rare meetings with your friends no longer. However, stores can never completely replace your favorite people, and no purchase will not give you as much joy as a simple human communication and support.


Scenario 3: The victim of advertising. TV hints that you need to buy a new coat. Bloggers assert that a new lipstick of the famous brand is «a bomb» and glossy pages are full of gorgeous pictures of handbags from the latest collections. With all this variety we forget one important thing: fashion has an aim to destroy your wallet. Experts in marketing work like in hell, day and night, to make you believe that your teeth will drop out without a new toothpaste. Trends in the field of beauty have a goal to increase sales. Even an athletic body trend appeared not occasionally, because its aim is to force you to buy a ticket to the gym, i.e. deprive you money (fitness clubs do not care, do you visit them or not). In our world, capital is not generated, it is just redistributed through the advertising, our illiterate consumption and irrational behaviour. It’s very easy: they sell us junk under the trendy cover, and we give «terribly earned» to the large companies (often through the small brokers) willingly, and still thank them for it.
In any case, shopaholism is a leaving from the reality as well as drugs, alcohol, and computer games. But how to treat this addiction? The solution is always there. The first thing to do is to acknowledge the problem. The sooner this happens, more money and nerves you will save. The next step is to find the reason for your actions. Psychologists (which is not required) and literature come here for help. Start to study psychology, because even the reading of Freud (and it is a fact that his book is not only a scientific heritage, but also a smart fiction) will help you to reflect on the origins of many problems seriously.


The following steps have a practical value: refuse the credit card and start to make shopping lists. Keep accounting of the money spent on shopping. If you can live without some things, postpone to buy it for a few days (or even tomorrow). It is the most difficult thing. Try to answer the following questions: will this thing feed me, will it keep me warm in -30, can it help to save my time? If you answered ‘no’, you do not need it exactly. Direct your efforts to build a normal human relations: go for a free or low-cost events and meet new people, look for friends by interest. Do not be afraid to write a person on the Internet, it will not send you to burn in Hell (in extreme cases does not answer), but you can find a true friend for life. Visit your grandmother in another city (spend money on a ticket to her, rather than on new shoes), because your relatives will give you the most unforgettable emotions that can not be bought for any money.


Coat: Lovers+Drifters

Dress: Freepeople

Choker: Handmade

Sandals: Senso

Bag: Balenciaga

Ring & sunglasses: NO NAME

Photo: Daria Ratushina

Text: Daria Evtyanova

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