Octavian Vasiliu, Daniel Vasile



Compulsive Buying Disorder: A Review of Current Data



Compulsive buying disorder, also known as compulsive shopping, pathological buying/shopping, or buying addiction is a complex condition, with elements common with drug-related disorders, impulse control disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Higher rates of psychiatric comorbidity exist in this condition, and mood disorders, impulse control disorders, drug related disorders and personality disorders frequently coexist with compulsive buying disorder. An online version of this disorder has been described, and psychometric tools have been created for both versions. Low self-esteem, low self-regulation, negative emotional state, enjoyment, female gender, social anonymity, and cognitive overload have been proved risk factors for Internet compulsive shopping. Female gender is associated more frequently (up to 80%) with compulsive buying. Cognitive behavior therapy is the most supported psychologic intervention, but Debtors Anonymous, simplicity circles, bibliotherapy, 12-step programs, financial counselling, and marital therapy have also been tried, with limited success. From the pharmacological point of view, citalopram, naltrexone and memantine, antidepressants plus mood-stabilizers have been studied, but quality of data is poor. Only a few randomized trials are available, the rest of data are based on case reports, case series and open label trials. Therefore, no clear recommendations could be formulated when approaching compulsive buying diagnosed patients, but cognitive behavioural therapy and serotoninergic antidepressants seem to be the best supported recommendations of treatment.


compulsive buying, compulsive shopping, behavioral addiction, Internet addiction, antidepressants, naltrexone, memantine


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Cite this paper

Octavian Vasiliu, Daniel Vasile. (2017) Compulsive Buying Disorder: A Review of Current Data. International Journal of Economics and Management Systems, 2, 134-137


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