Is Online Shopping Addiction a Mental Health Condition 

Worried that you or someone you know might have an online shopping addiction? Is constantly looking for online shopping discounts a problem? Here are the answers. 


Online shopping is so easy to do that sometimes we may do it without even thinking. The constant stream of discounts and special offers flying around on social media and the ever-present pressure to look good and follow the latest fashion trends has many of us clicking Buy Now more often than we can afford to. 

So, the question often arises: Is online shopping an addiction? In this post, we’ll have a look at what addiction is and whether you can get addicted to shopping online. 

Is Online Shopping Addiction a Mental Health Condition

Note: As you’ve probably guessed, we’re not mental health experts and this article is not intended to be used for you to self-diagnose. Always seek proper medical advice if you think that you have a problem. 

Is online shopping addiction a mental health condition?  

Addiction is when something plays on your brain’s reward system to trigger dopamine responses when you do something. This can lead to repetitive cycles of behavior that are often damaging to the person and their relationships with those around them. 

Addiction is widely considered to be a mental illness – A brain disease. This is a classification used by both the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the American Psychiatric Association. 

Some people think that you can only get addicted to substances like cocaine, nicotine, and alcohol. The reality is that you brain can be wired to become addicted to anything. Some things induce physical withdrawal symptoms – like alcohol – which makes not having the substance painful, but this is not the cause root of addiction. 

Addiction is about triggering your brain’s reward system, and some people are more prone to falling prey to it than others. Many people use drugs and alcohol to fill an empty void in their lives. Some people use online shopping to do the same thing. New clothes, new toys, and new bits of tech coming in the post every other day can make a person feel good – for a fleeting moment, at least. 

A brain disease

So, online shopping can be an addiction? 

The short end of the stick is that online shopping can become addictive. Finding online shopping discounts can become something of a game for many shoppers. In this way, they can become addicted to the rush of getting the best deal at checkout, without even realizing how much money they’re spending. 

It’s true that many companies play on this inherent weakness in people with their marketing and ad campaigns. It’s not to say that buying things online is bad – it’s just that it needs to be done in moderation, much like everything in life. 

Be aware of how much you shop online each week and set limits on how much you’re allowed to spend. Another good trick is to leave your basket full and then come back to it the next day and review the items you have in there. More often than not the emotional impulse that had you about to buy something will have vanished and you’ll realize that you really don’t need or even want that item. 

Online shopping can be an addiction

The wrap-up

Today’s world is full of distractions and people trying to get your attention. The average person’s attention span is getting progressively shorter with each passing year and companies are getting ever more aggressive with their marketing strategies. 

If you feel like you’re falling prey to the temptation to buy, buy, buy, then we recommend that you limit the amount of time you’re exposed to online shops and ads. Maybe unfollow some brands on social media, unsubscribe from mailing lists, and if necessary seek some help from a psychologist. 

All things in moderation, friend. All things in moderation.