WebMR: Do You Have Shopping Paralysis?

You don’t need to put on a backless hospital gown unless you really want to.



Shopping paralysis is characterized first and foremost by a psychological inability to purchase clothing, shoes or accessories. SP can manifest in both retail and e-commerce environments and can last anywhere from a day to a year (however, most sufferers don’t recognize the symptoms unless they’ve persisted upwards of a month). No demographic data has been collected thus far, however experts have noted an influx of reported cases just before and during seasonal transitions. Shopping Paralysis is occasionally contagious in tight-knit friend groups.

Symptoms & Types:

+Intense desire to purchase new consumer items
+Generalized dissatisfaction with one’s current wardrobe
+Compulsive scrolling and strolling through e-commerce websites and stores, respectively
+Continued placing of items in one’s cart
+Consistent failure to complete the purchase
+Unrelenting confusion over what the hell to buy
+Frustration with one’s own nebulous set of desires


Possible causes include an appetite to finally invest in quality items combined with a lack of funds, resulting in fluctuating urges to buy cheaper stuff to alleviate current needs. SP sufferers will then force themselves to relive the short life cycles of past fast-fashion purchases in an effort to recenter their focus on quality, however they’re soon faced with another reality: they cannot reasonably afford quality unless they choose incredibly wisely. This is a pressure they’re unable to handle, and symptoms then grow more severe.

Treatment & Care:

Many are able to break out of SP by:
+Evaluating the items in their closet that they truly covet and seeking out the qualities those items possess in their next purchase.
+Considering what it is they continually need when they are struggling to get dressed.
+Allowing their funds to build while suffering from SP, thus enabling more financial freedom.
+Purchasing items that not only spark joy a la Marie Kondo, but also speak to their own personal style rather than that of someone they admire who has a completely different body.
+Breaking the fucking seal.

Or maybe you buy way too much, in which case here’s how to clean your closet.

Collage by Emily Zirimis.

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