Shopaholic Syndrome…It is taking over the world!

       “I need going out clothes!”

                                “I need the Penn State Victoria’s Secret clothes!”

                                                                                          “I need tailgate attire!”

                                                                              “I NEED…”

Before arriving to Penn State I knew that I needed new clothes whether it was for parties, working out, football games, or anything. Downtown is right next to Penn State and it contains so many boutiques and stores…which is a downfall for me. I did not think I would have the shopping addiction because I would be busy with school work, a sorority and extra curricular activities, however after trying on that romper in Metro…I couldn’t resist. Over the summer, I learned how to manage my spending money while I had my job. Now seeing all these adorable stores downtown I cannot refrain and since I don’t have a job, this will be 100x harder. Why do I have shopaholic syndrome?

Do you love to treat yourself? …Yes or No

Do you love buying an excessive amount of clothing even though you know for a fact you still have clothes with tags on them?…Yes or No

Do you feel the need to follow numerous new fashion trends even if they may be ridiculous?…Yes or No

*If you replied Yes to at least 2/3 you have shopaholic syndrome* (kidding)


This is a visual from Posted July 2013

 In this article, According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, “Averagely 6% of of the U.S. population are compulsive shoppers which is a conflict for BOTH genders,” (2006). Compulsive shoppers have difficulty controlling their actions and it can cause a lot of harm whether it is financial, educational, or having to do with family. 

I know when I go out and buy clothes, shoes, or even makeup I always feel better and it boosts my confidence. We live in a society where “looks” and “brands” actually matter. For example, I am a die hard Kanye West fan and I always support him and his music. However, his Yeezy clothing line is what confuses me. It is all about the BRAND. Half of the clothes within the Yeezy line have rips or are just plain and are way too expensive. People most likely only buy those clothes because it says “YEEZY” on the inside or because it is a company owned by Kanye himself.

Of course women are more prone to compulsive shopping than men. In this article Paco Underhill,  author of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, claimed that “86% of women check price tags and 72% of men do,” (2008). Today, online shopping has created a worse addiction to shopping. I have noticed that most of the internet tabs on my computer or even on my phone are stores or clothes that I have saved onto my wish list. 

Shopping is a way to relieve stress and anxiety. So people who have trouble with anxiety…WATCH OUT! 


In this article, the Bergen Shopping Addiction Scale is used to identify one’s shopping addiction:

  1. Shopping is always on your mind
  2. You use shopping to heighten your mood
  3. Shopping affects your daily life
  4. You have urges to shop more
  5. You want to control your shopping…but you CAN’T
  6. You feel bad if you can’t shop
  7. Shopping ruins your well-being

If you agree to at least 4…congrats you have the shopping addiction.



“New Research about Shopping Addiction.” ScienceDaily. University of Bergen, 29 Sept. 2015. Web. 15 Sept. 2016. <>.

“The Truth About Shopaholics.” LiveScience. TechMedia Network, n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2016. <>.

“Understanding The Science Of Shopping.” NPR. NPR, 12 Dec. 2008. Web. 15 Sept. 2016. <>.

ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2016. <>.


10 thoughts on “Shopaholic Syndrome…It is taking over the world!

  1. Abigail Louise Edwards

    You may have just written the most relevant Blog Post yet, I can totally relate and I am sure most of the student population can as well. Although, as much as I agree with what you’re saying, I think it would be a better read if you could explain why shopping is a stress reliever. You could also explain ways to control or minimize our “shopping addiction”, that would help myself and I’m sure many others!

  2. Erin Nicole Kemp

    I never thought shopping could be so scientific! One way my roomate has suggested to me to reduce shopping is to trade NEED for want. When I mention how much I NEED some more high waisted jeans she immediately corrects my language to ‘want.’ Seems like you have a lot on your plate which sucks that you may not have time to get a job to pay for all your shopping desires.

  3. Caroline Sorrentino

    This is so relevant! I love shopping so much that when i’m home, I will drive 45 minutes to the mall… alone. Sometimes it’s even to just window shop, that’s how much I just love being in the presence of all the new trends,etc. I definitely have a lot of built up stress and anxiety for various reasons so when I shop, I put my phone in my bag and just let my mind wander (..into the shoe department). I think it’s really therapeutic because it puts you in control for once. This CNN article explains some more reasons why shopping makes people happy as well as some tactics to slow your roll.

  4. Natalie Elizabeth Burns

    I found this article very interesting … and true! I love to go shopping — in store or online, it’s my go to thing to do when I’m bored (in class). But, I think it’s interesting to be able to look out the reason behind why so many people love to shop. I think some of the reasons could be due to media, increase in technology and availability, and pressure. I know when I see a celebrity wearing something cute, I always want to know where it’s from and I search online to find something just like it. Also, I like how you highlighted the fact that we always say “need”, however, we don’t need that shirt, we want it. I think that’s another problem. People are confused with their needs and wants. Great post!!!

  5. Alexandra Kaminsky

    This post is hilarious and definitely relevant in my life. I love to go shopping. Whether I am looking at shoes online or walking the mall, it is something that I absolutely love to do. Shopping is definitely a problem for some girls (including myself) and I always wondered why some girls love shopping and why some hate it. I’m curious to know if there is a scientific reason behind this. Perhaps the addiction is passed down from generations, or it is just as simple as an interest, I’d love to know why girls feel a certain way towards shopping. Here is a quick link to another blog of a girl who hates shopping.

  6. Isobel Danielle Hoang

    I can definitely relate to this! I’m that person who wants a new outfit for every event or always needs a new going out outfit. In an article published in the Official Journal of the World Psychiatric Association , scientists have linked compulsive buying to addictive disorders or to obsessive disorders. Having compulsive buying being linked to an addictive disorders makes sense. Whenever I buy a new outfit, I instantly feel happy. This then fuels me to buy new clothes in order to feel that way again. I can also see how it would be categorized as an obsessive disorder. I have friends that are obsessed with shopping because they always need the latest and the greatest. I’m curious to see what everyone thinks the obsessive shopping should be categorized as: addictive or obsessive disorder?

  7. Samantha Francesca Sichenze

    Every time my mom gets the credit card bill she yells at me and calls me a shopaholic. In this day in age, I think shopping is such an addiction because we became obsessed with how people perceive us. It’s sad, but it’s true. We worry so much how people think of us. Do they think I’m skinny? Do they think I’m pretty? However, coming from personal experience, I like to buy clothes because it makes me feel good about myself. If I try on this dress and I look pretty in it then I’ll feel better about myself. We also worry so much about fitting in and following the trends. Even though I bought clothes before I came, I couldn’t resist going into Urban Outfitters and People’s Nation while walking down College Avenue. Thanks to your blog, I am fully aware that I am a shopaholic. Next time I pass a cute store, I will put my head down and keep walking.

  8. Nicole Trachman

    This is something I can definitely relate to! Especially after a long week of exams and hard work, it’s so insanely tempting to take a walk downtown and get some new clothes. And since a lot of downtown stores keep some items outside I can’t resist looking! I don’t have a job at school so I know that spending money is a bad idea since my supply is limited but I can always manage to convince myself into purchasing something. What I started doing over the summer when I was still working was every time I went shopping I would think “this dress is $40, would I work an extra 5 hours just to have this?” and if the answer was no, the purchase was a no. While this helped, it definitely didn’t solve the problem. Maybe this article can help us a little bit.

  9. Anna Strahle

    I can completely relate to this post because my first semester of freshman yearI spent nearly my entire bank account on new clothes for school. Since then I have been able to gain some control over my shopping addiction, but it is still hard to resist looking online through pages and pages of dresses. Online shopping is my weakness,. I even remember last year that I ordered some clothes online from Urban Outfitters, when I easily could have walked a half-mile downtown and saved the $6 on shipping. There are even a few tricks that companies use in order to make you spend more money shopping online. The most shocking trick that I found is that some companies will send a coupon to one customer in order to encourage them buying the item, while they won’t send it to another customer because the know the customer will buy the item regardless.

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