Naomi (44) loves online shopping. She keeps beautiful clothes in the shopping carts at various online stores. She also regularly orders pieces of clothing that she thinks she really must have in order not to experience that great sensation of the purchase once it falls on the mat. How is this possible? That she wants something and when she has it, she doesn’t really find it that interesting anymore?
Media psychologist and healthcare psychologist Bjarne Timonen: “You experience rewards through dopamine in your brain. Especially if you are addicted to online shopping, you will see that the highest dopamine peak occurs when you buy something. When the reward comes much later , you see that it doesn’t even give much reward anymore. It’s really about the buying itself.”
“We also see this with shopping addiction: the behavior of buying, that’s where the addiction is, not in the stuff – there are people who, for example, have a lot of clothes hanging with the tags still attached. That’s not what it’s about. works the same as a sex addiction. Especially men who have a sex addiction are addicted to hunting and scoring, but once they have sex they don’t experience as much pleasure.”
Are women more shopping addicts and men more sex addicts? Timonen: “Yes, absolutely. Men can also be shopping addicts or women who are sex addicts, but both to a lesser extent. In both cases it concerns something that gives a reward that can lead to an addiction. Other things that provide a reward are, for example, alcohol. and drugs, gambling, watching porn. They all tap into that same dopamine system.”
Do you have any tips if you are financially troubled by ordering (too much) stuff online? Timonen: “If you think you have an addiction, it is of course wise to seek professional help. If you are not ready yet, you can use the following buying philosophy. I always ask myself three questions when I buy things: am I can I afford it and is it sustainable? If you ask yourself these questions during a purchase, you will be more grateful for the things you already have, and for what you buy.”
Three questions to ask yourself before you buy:
1. Do I need it? If not, then don’t buy it
2. If I need it, can I afford it? Is now the right time or do I have to save up for it?
3. Is the product of durable quality? So that I can use it for a long time? Was it made in a country that respects human rights and is it not bad for the environment?
“A second tip: do a gratitude exercise every night. Say or write down what you are happy with. So that you become happier from the people around you and the things you already have. Finally: just be grateful for everything what you already have instead of always wanting more.”
Rubriek: Asking for a friend
In this weekly column Asking for a friend we submit reader questions about health to one of our experts. Do you also have a pressing health question for a general practitioner, obstetrician, dietician, psychologist or other health expert? Mail it to [email protected] and maybe you’ll see the answer here soon.