Confessions Of A Shopaholic
WOMAN - UK|November 02, 2021
The past year has seen online shopping figures soar. But when does healthy spending become an addiction? Woman investigates
Fiona Kinloch, Nilufer Atik

8 million

The number of people in the UK who will experience a compulsion to shop in their lifetime.

With Christmas less than two months away, shoppers are already out in full force trying to grab as many bargains as possible. For many, shopping is a necessary and harmless part of everyday life, but for around 6% of the UK’s population, it proves to be an obsession.

It was recently reported that UK online shopping sales rose by 48% to nearly £113 billion in 2020, up from £76.1 billion the year before, with people turning to online shopping during the pandemic to help relieve stress. But is using online shopping as a coping mechanism for stress a healthy habit? And at a time of year where temptation is everywhere, what is it really like to suffer from shopping addiction? One woman shares her story with us.

‘I WAS BUYING RANDOM ITEMS EVERY DAY

Nilufer Atik, 46, is a writer. She lives in Surrey with her five-year-old son. I’d never been addicted to anything in my life before I got hooked on shopping two years ago. I hadn’t even thought that buying things could become an addiction and had always been fairly careful with my money. But it all changed when the coronavirus pandemic struck.

My work as a writer had dried up and, stuck inside every day, I became easily bored, but I think it was the anxiety around the panic buying that sparked off my obsession.

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