My Shoplifting Addiction

by Brenda H
(Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

I am a 51 year old woman with an addiction to shoplifting. It started 6 years ago after the death of my 23 year old son to suicide.

I am on probation for charges from getting caught. I continue to shoplift and feel scared and ashamed because I am unable to resist the urge to shoplift. I desperately need help.

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Oct 30, 2011
You Are Not Alone
by: lori

Please do not feel to ashamed to get a councilor ASAP. You can beat this, but not alone.

I am also a shoplifter. I am 49 and also suffered extreme loss. I began shoplifting and couldn't tell you why. Also, I was too ashamed to get help. My life was out of control and I felt worthless because of it. I was also caught and arrested and placed on probation. It was the ultimate humiliation which I would NEVER want to go through again, so I knew I must get myself together.

It was not until my first trip to the store after my arrest that I realized I was in more trouble than I thought. I had this overwhelming compulsion to steal something, anything, and I just could not shake it.

I had to leave and sit out in the car while my husband finished shopping. I knew then it had become my addiction and I had to do more than choose to stop.

I had to come face to face with a lot of things and battle my addiction, but you cant do it alone. There are people qualified and can get you to where you need to be.

Do not think you are alone in this vicious cycle. I did. It kept me from getting help. I felt like a freak. I learned that I am one of many. There are estimated 25 thousand in the USA -- exactly same everything, even the urge to re-offend. One in 3 will. It is the euphoric feeling and rush we crave, more than the merchandise we steal, which is the same as an alcoholic or drug addict.

Please Google shoplifting addiction. Learn about it and don't try to conquer it yourself. Also...once you are able to stop, always stand your guard because addiction is a sneaky devil and will try to take over at any weak moment. By knowing this you can fight it.

Good luck! It is a lot of work, but it is so freeing and so well worth it!

Jan 17, 2011
Yes Get Help
by: Phil

I've gotten into serious problems by shoplifting and I still shoplift occasionally -- it's scary because I'm on probation and have been banned from certain stores.

I have severe anxiety and I got help with counseling and taking medication for stress. This has helped me a lot but it's not perfect. I'm getting better and do it much less.

Jan 17, 2011
You really DO need help
by: Carolyn

Have you gone to a therapist or attended a recovery group for parents of kids that commit suicide?

You can do crazy things if you don't go through all that guilt you must have because he killed himself. Maybe you want to be punished somehow and shoplifting is how you're doing it.

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