WebMR: Do You Have Shopping Paralysis?



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.

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman is the Features Director at Man Repeller.

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