Online shopping addiction is a mental illness

The Internet has brought the convenience of shopping at our leisure in the comfort of our home. For many, the attractions of shopping can turn into an addiction. Experts believe that online shopping can develop into a mental illness. Researchers from the Hannover Medical School have termed the illness "Buying Shopping Disorder" (BSD). Researchers say the medical profession should recognize it as an illness, not just as one of various "impulse control" disorders. Dr Astrid Müller said: "It really is time to…accumulate further knowledge about BSD on the Internet."

Dr Müller and her team conducted research on earlier studies on shopping involving 122 patients who sought treatment for BSD. Dr Müller said five per cent of people might suffer from BSD. She added that younger people are more likely to develop it. They also have greater levels of anxiety and depression. People with BSD exhibit negative behaviors. These include buying expensive things they don't need, keeping and never using things they order, buying things for instant gratification, and ending up in debt. BSD can destroy marriages, relationships and mental health.