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Friday, January 2, 2015

Shopping Addict Sells Back for Recovery

A form of addiction often overlooked is “shopping addiction,” the practice of excessively buying things. Whether one can afford to spend inordinate amounts of money on material possessions, or not, has little bearing; just as people use drugs and alcohol, or eat their feelings away, many will shop to make themselves feel better.

A recovering shopping addict and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Buzz Bissinger, whose addiction set him back $600,000, putting his marriage and family in danger, is now selling most of what he bought as part of his recovery, reports the fix. In 2013, before entering treatment, Bissinger wrote about his addiction in a GQ essay. He would spend money recklessly at high-end designer clothing stores lines, to the point that brands started to fly Bissinger over to Italy for runway shows.

Bissinger was treated for a “variety of compulsive and dangerous behaviors,” such as self-harm and prescription drug use. After years of writing first-person essays, Bissinger found the online criticism from readers hard to stomach, which played a part in his destructive behavior. A large part of the recovery process will be to sell off the bulk of his collection, as much as three quarters.

“When someone writes something good about you, it makes you feel good for a minute. And when someone writes something bad about you, it makes you feel bad for hours and weeks and none of it makes any difference anyway,” he told Vanity Fair. “I was Googling myself four or five times a day. So I no longer write for the Daily Beast; I was doing a lot of TV, and I no longer do any of that. I’ve turned it all down.”

Many develop issues with shopping after overcoming a drug or alcohol addiction, according to Terrence Shulman, founder and director of the Shulman Center for Compulsive Theft, Spending and Hoarding. It may come as a surprise that 50 percent of the estimated 30 million compulsive shoppers in the U.S., are men, according to the article.

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