Shoplifting Addiction

by Lesley
(United Kingdom)

I am a 54 yrs old woman with an addiction to shoplifting.

I have 15 previous charges and 3 pending charges. I am depressed, have anxiety and panic attacks and sleep problems, all treated by my doctor. I also have menopause and take HRT.

I stopped taking the anti-depressants, as I felt they was not helping, and that’s when I started shoplifting again.

I am a law-biding person in all other areas of my life and I’m deeply embarrassed but it doesn’t stop me doing it again. This causes me more stress. What can I do?


Compulsive shoplifting is often linked to anxiety, and because you stopped taking anti-depressants and started shoplifting again, I suspect that is the root cause of the problem.

Go back on the medication and speak to your doctor about it. Although you did not feel the effect, the medication he prescribed seems to have calmed you, because once you stopped it, shoplifting recurred.

For many people with anxiety, cognitive therapy and medication go hand-in-hand.

Ask your doctor to recommend you to a therapist. You’ll learn to understand what triggers you to shoplift, as well as how to deal with your anxiety appropriately. There may also be support groups for anxiety and depression that he can recommend.

The courts and the public have no sympathy for shoplifters, so I hope you get the help you need as soon as possible.

All the best,


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