How does a young lady with celebrity status and the means to buy whatever she would like end up with an addiction to shopping? Many are aware of the personal and public battle that Lindsay Lohan has had with her addiction to drugs and alcohol. People may not be aware that addictions tend to cross over and manifest in a variety of other forms that are equally destructive in force. Excessive shopping may not seem like a major problem, but when it fringes on the lines of a shopping addiction the results can be devastating.
An addiction to shopping goes above and beyond simply making sure you hit all of the best sales at your favorite stores. As tempting as a shoe sale at Macy’s can be, when it becomes an obsession of having material items to fill a void and to bring comfort, there may be a problem. Any source of comfort that is used to escape the pain of your reality has the potential to become an addiction. The case of shopping addiction is just as detrimental as drugs and alcohol.
Do you find that you are going deeper in debt to support your shopping habit? Are you buying things that you don’t need on a consistent basis? Do you use money that could be spent in a more responsible manner on material items that you feel you have to have? Do you shop when you feel any type of physical, mental or emotional discomfort? Shopping can be a rush, firing up the same parts of the brain that are affected by an alcoholic when they take that first drink. The endorphins that are released cause the individual to feel great, at least for a small amount of time. When the effect wears off the person is left with the same empty feelings of loss, pain and fear that they had before indulging in their addiction. For Lindsay Lohan, the attempt to find a safe and comfortable space has transformed into a shopping addiction.
Lindsay is facing charges of theft of a necklace that was worth $2,500, a piece of jewelry that she is capable of purchasing. Theft is often a result of a shopping addiction, the addict may become unable to afford their drug of choice. Since material items are the drug of choice and stealing items may result to get a “fix”, legal consequences may result. This is the situation where Lindsay Lohan has found herself. Shopping addictions aren’t only found in Hollywood, they are found all over the world.
The key to dealing with a shopping addiction is to treat it for what it is, an addiction. There are programs, 12-step and non-traditional along with therapy that can enable the addict to deal with their problem and move forward towards a healthy recovery.
Sherry Gaba, LCSW, is a Licensed Psychotherapist and Life and Recovery Coach. She is also the author of “The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery.” Contact Sherry @sgabatherpay.com for upcoming speaking engagements, book singings, workshops, teleseminars, and coaching packages. www.sgabatherapy.com www.thelawofsobriety.com