Anxiety for Black Friday can generate oniomania, explains expert

It is very normal to feel anxious with the expectation of finding good deals on Black Friday, especially when the desired item is a real need. Afterwards, it is necessary to have control so as not to lose your hand in the face of promotions and this is not only valid for your pocket, but for your health.

A study done last Black Friday by artificial intelligence startup Emotions Meter identified among Twitter users that anxiety is among the top consumer feelings about Black Friday, and the closer to the date, the more intense it is.


The sense of urgency and the marketing of scarcity are characteristics of the date, they can bring onomania: shopping compulsion.

virtual consumption
Virtual consumption. Credits: Shutterstock

Danielle H. Admoni, a psychiatrist at the São Paulo School of Medicine of the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp), said that people who fit this profile compulsively buy useless, repeated and never-used products and are victims of a vicious circle: “ The person realizes that they shouldn’t have bought, feels frustrated and ends up wanting to buy more to compensate for that feeling of frustration”

A curiosity is that women represent the majority of those who suffer from oniomania. According to psychiatrist Admoni, he clarified that these people only realize that they are losing control over purchases when they start to get into debt, such as blowing up their credit cards. The orientation now is to unsubscribe from all stores that send emails and messages informing about promotions. Oniomania sufferers should avoid browsing shopping sites.

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“Usually we recommend psychotherapy so that the person understands the reasons that lead them to spend compulsively. In some cases, when we observe that oniomania is associated with a depressive condition, for example, it may be necessary to use medication”, said Admoni of Black Friday.

Researchers at Albert Einstein University College of Medicine in New York found that families of compulsive shoppers tend to develop other disorders, such as mood disorders, eating disorders and substance abuse.

On the other hand, the act of shopping on Black Friday can have a positive role in mental health, as it is in the pleasure of purchasing the goods we desire. “When we succeed, neurotransmitters are released that provide a sensation of pleasure and well-being. The feeling is normal, as long as it is within a minimal context of reality”, explained Rios.

See the signs of oniomania

  • Financial lack of control: the person starts to buy beyond what they can afford, generating financial loss and, consequently, indebtedness.
  • Hidden shopping: hiding the purchases made becomes a habit, as the person knows that others will criticize for having purchased items without the slightest need.
  • Repeated or never-used pieces: when you buy clothes or shoes without even trying them on, and often, items that are practically the same, because you don’t even remember what’s in your closet.
  • Abstinence: extreme anxiety and mood swings, the symptoms resulting from abstinence can be similar to those of dependence on the use of chemical substances, causing despair and loss of self-esteem.
  • Feeling of guilt after a purchase: when well-being ends, there is a feeling of impotence in the face of uncontrolled purchases and the cycle of “pleasure-mourning” appears, as a distorted view of the purpose of consumption.

Source: O Globo

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