Something as common as Christmas shopping can develop into a serious psychological problem, whose long-term consequences are disastrous. Nearly every Spaniard goes on a shopping spree during Christmas, but for one in every ten people this habit turns into a serious problem: they are addicted to Christmas shopping.
Francisca López Torrecillas, a lecturer at the Department of Personality, Evaluation and Psychological Treatment of the University of Granada and an expert in psychological additions, explained that the effects of this pathology are similar to those of alcoholism, compulsive gambling or Internet addiction. The researcher remarked: “These people will never recognise their problem, and they hide it from their relatives. People addicted to Christmas shopping compulsively buy products as if they were gifts, but very often they just keep them for themselves.”
López Torrecillas pointed out that, although these Christmas shopping sprees are associated with depressive moods, they are due to different problems related to the sex of the subject. "Men who spend a lot of money during Christmas do it because they feel dissatisfied with their job or financial status, or because they don't feel they are appreciated enough. That makes them turn to alcohol, drugs or compulsive shopping."
When it comes to women, the UGR lecturer suggested that shopping addiction “is due to low self-esteem, which may be due to the fact that they don't feel satisfied with their bodies or because they are overweight. That can make them suffer from depression and anxiety”.
Differences according to sex
Francisca López Torrecillas pointed out that those men and women who are ‘hooked’ on this Christmas consumerism shop in a different way. “Women purchase ornaments and beauty products, such as clothes, make-up and cosmetics. Men prefer to buy electronic devices, sports material and car accessories.”
Some women are addicted to buying food. “Some people fill the fridge with food, and pretend that it is all for the Christmas celebrations. In the end, they have simply bought too much food. This is another of the symptoms of this psychological illness.”
The expert in psychology pointed out that advertising and the fact that winter and summer sales begin sooner every year “are not helpful at all. Actually, they make people even more addicted”. Since advertising is partly to blame, the researcher declares that the authorities should have a greater control over this area "as already happens in the field of anorexia"
López Torrecillas stated that, after an episode of excessive shopping, these people “regret it and feel totally guilty”, especially when they realise how much money they spent, which is frequently beyond their means. “People addicted to Christmas shopping should visit an expert or an association that can help them get over it, just as if they were addicted to gambling or to any other thing.”
Prof. Francisca López Torrecillas
Department of Personality, Evaluation and Psychological Treatment of the University of Granada.
Phone number: +34 958 249 557
Miércoles, 27 de Diciembre de 2006
For one in every ten people, excessive Christmas shopping can turn into a pathology just as serious as alcoholism or drug addiction
-According to an expert from the University of Granada, excessive Christmas consumerism is related to depressive moods related to work –particularly so in the case of men- and problems of low self-esteem –especially when it comes to women. -Some of the symptoms of this addiction are: buying products as a gift, but actually keeping them for oneself, hiding purchases from relatives, and buying too much food that will eventually go off.