How often do you shop online? Are you able to make rational purchases of items you actually require? Unfortunately, for a proportion of individuals, this can be extremely difficult to control, down to an online shopping addiction.

Although a primary diagnosis of an online shopping addiction is yet to be made, many individuals across the globe are falling short to this addiction, mixing both mental health issues and impulse control disorders. In addition, many onlookers will believe that online shopping can be controlled, that it is a choice. Yet, similarly to further addictions, it is classified as a brain illness, which once developed, can carry detrimental impacts to life.

If you’re shopping heavily online, if you’re easily sucked in by online adverts, if you’re purchasing pointless items, even if you cannot afford them, you could be addicted to the thrill of online shopping. Unfortunately, down to the rise of ecommerce and social media selling, it can be difficult to get away from online shopping. It can also be challenging to spot the signs of an addiction, down to the heavy normalisation of ongoing purchasing.

Yet, to help, here are the top 10 signs that you may be suffering from an online shopping addiction, the dangers of its innocent identity, and steps on how to overcome irrational and unnecessary online shopping. Here at Ocean Recovery Centre, we are addiction recovery specialists. We can help you progress through addiction treatment, suitable for an online shopping dependence.

If you’re thinking ‘I have an online shopping addiction’, we are here to help.


What is an online shopping addiction?

Online shopping is highly adopted in today’s society. With the emergence of the internet and technology, ecommerce sites are thriving. Shopping addictions have always existed, where some individuals unfortunately struggle to bypass a shop without spending, without purchasing unnecessary items. Similarly, online shopping addictions have also surfaced, following similar behavioural patterns.

However, down to the ease of accessibility, an online shopping addiction is known to carry greater side effects, down to its impulse control disorder association. In addition, in result of research, an online shopping addiction is highly associated with mental health issues, carrying many concerns for those impulse shoppers.

Down to the normalisation of online shopping, of scrolling through page after page of items, of experiencing the thrill of next day delivery and online offers, it can be difficult to spot an addiction. Many shoppers will in fact question their intentions from time to time. Yet, for those who are clearly purchasing items out of their reach, on a consistent basis, no matter the consequences, identifying an addiction with ease is likely.

To help you differentiate your behaviour from those of an addiction, here’s 10 signs that you may be suffering from an online shopping addiction. If you are suffering, it’s important that you consider addiction treatment. Without professional help, there are many probable dangers, linked to mental health issues, money problems and legal implications.


Top 10 signs that you may be suffering from online shopping addiction

Online shopping addiction symptoms can vary for all individuals. This is very similar when considering alternative addictions. Down to an underlying causation, down to the extremity of shopping habits, signs can showcase themselves differently.

Below are a number of scenarios, sharing the signs of an online shopping addiction:

You’re online shopping on a consistent basis

Online shopping is easy to complete. The average person will purchase items on a consistent basis, down to accessibility. Yet, what is your consistency? Are you making purchases every hour, day or every few days? If so, without a justifiable reason behind it, you could be experiencing an online shopping addiction.

You’re purchasing irrationally, usually resulting in unnecessary buys

If your behaviour is irrational, frantic or impulsive, where you’re purchasing unnecessary items, this is a strong sign that a dependence on shopping, on the thrill is developing.

 You’ll purchase online, no matter the consequences

Do you make online shopping buys, even if there are associated negative consequences? Lacking control over your shopping habits can result in an addiction.

 You’re hiding your online shopping orders from others

This is a clear sign that an addiction can be present. Like other addictions, clients will usually live in denial, hiding their true reality. You may be hiding another pair of shoes, or a large pile of items from a loved one.

 You’re addicted to scrolling through ecommerce sites

Do you spend a significant amount of time online? Are you captured by the sales, by the ads, by the new ins? This is one of the top 10 signs that you may be suffering from an online shopping addiction, clearly sharing your inclination to be online, even if deep down you attempt not to.

 You’re struggling to stop spending money, even if funds aren’t available

Those who live with an online shopping addiction will likely spend large sums of money, even if it is unavailable. Problems with credit are common, sometimes resulting in large debts.

 You’re experiencing associated mental health issues

Living with an online shopping addiction can resemble a roller-coaster journey. You will experience the thrill as you make the purchase, as your order arrives. Yet, once this feeling passes, you’ll hit a low, craving further purchases. If you’re experiencing depression, anxiety, further impulse control disorders or mood disorders, treatment for a dual diagnosis will be required.

 Online shopping is overtaking your life

Is online shopping causing detrimental impacts to your life? Are you distracted from your home life, from your job responsibilities, from your health? Prioritising online shopping is a clear indication of an addiction.

 Online shopping is used as a coping strategy

Using online shopping as a coping strategy, as a mood lifter, as a distraction is very common. Here is where the dangers of an addiction can develop.

 You cannot stop shopping, even if you want to

If online shopping and your impulsive behaviours are controlling your life, it’s time to source support.


How to overcome and stop an online shopping addiction

If you’re experiencing one or more of the top 10 signs of a shopping addiction, on a consistent basis, it’s time to source support. Although there are many self-help tips, such as limiting your online accounts or cancelling credit cards, greater treatment is required to stop an online shopping addiction.

Here at Ocean Recovery Centre, we can offer fitting addiction treatment programmes to diminish your impulsive behaviours. Through a range of psychological methods and coping strategy techniques, we can help alleviate those addictive symptoms, disassociating you from the influence of online shopping.

Through the normalisation of online shopping, lone recovery can be very challenging. With our help, you’ll learn to cope without online shopping, you’ll develop positive routines, you’ll favour a new hobby. Through these positive changes, you’ll see online shopping for what it is, a convenient yet self-controlled shopping experience.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: January 13, 2022

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.