WWL>Topics>>12-18-13 3:10pm Angela: on shopping addiction

12-18-13 3:10pm Angela: on shopping addiction

Dec 18, 2013|

Angela talks about shopping addiction with Mary Lou McCall and Terri Smith of Action Against Addiction and self-described shopaholic Marcel Leone.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Will tis the season for giving. So many find themselves in the malls shopping on line or hitting the fun shopping streets in the quarter and on magazine street. But there is no season of buying for shop hall. Don't wait -- holidays or birthdays or any special occasion every day can be a shopping day. A study five years ago by the journal of consumer research says the number of compulsive shoppers is around 25 million Americans. And it isn't just women if that's what you were thinking. In a study by Stanford. Compulsive shoppers were equally split among men and women. But compulsive shopping or compulsive spending is real and it can destroy lives. It's now seen as an addiction like alcoholism. Eating or drugs. And like those addictions that can be helped. We'll talk to a man who says he has a shop a Holler and to addiction specialist. Do you feel you're spending has gotten out of control or do you live with someone who you think is a compulsive shopper. Please give us -- call it 2601870. Well joining us to talk about compulsive shopping and buying is Marcel Leone who calls himself shot -- Mary -- McCall who was a prevention specialist with action against addiction she and her oldest son are recovering alcoholics. But she says she was very much -- alcoholic. Before she turned to alcohol. And Terry Smith who's the executive director of action against addiction and I can't thank you all enough for being here. And then start with Marcelo -- be heads up because I've known this wonderful man for decades. And frankly met him and we had the talk show on shop -- and he came forward and from that we have become dear dear treasured friends. And you call yourself that you believe that you are shop -- Yes because IU was born in a shopping center. Not really. I think Iowa and a novel life. How do you define what you think -- shot. Well I know it is an addiction. Admittedly so. But it's that thing that gives me the most pleasure. In life. And if healing while I'm doing it and sometimes. After. I'm completed. I have a wonderful hot. And eventually revert back to one before. All the issue witnesses did start as a teenager or was it started at an early age. Because my mother took me to canal street every week sometimes twice a week. Which the canal street where to shop in -- -- -- -- And that's when it started. So even you are aware of it you just continue. Yes I do because I feel that in as much as it is an addiction. I'm not Stoppard and anyway. Because of the addiction. -- that they. All I do what I need to do and I and I am responsible. And have to know -- I can and cannot -- But it gives us for instance. Is closed if your. Yes always and so let's talk about how many pair pants realm. The last count I it was a hundred and. And what about Jack. Jackets and suits. Maybe a 125. And at shirts at a worse than it OK -- out from under it more than 500. All of them hanging or you will not warned them most of them hanging. But quite a bit of them are. And these plastic storage cases. Because I don't have an hour from India my living room was turned into hearty walk in closet because I didn't have enough on states. So yes the Balkans are now. I know this about ourselves that he loves the heart of the sale. And the board the -- -- still even using 500 shirts some of those you may have paid five dollars absolute. And someone from. Quite a lot more but the only thing odd guy. At full price. Things that I'm not able to live with now. And I don't get them -- not feed them. I cannot sleep toggle back in again. That's I want him an addiction. Once I got it in my possession. On fine. That. Mary Lou. You have been wonderful coming on the show talking about many things that -- You for awhile you say you had a shocking issue an issue I don't think I have an addiction just been shopping but this is what happens on. You know are we talked about the fact that I have an alcohol addiction and when I got a handle on that. The buying of the issues let's say let's have -- go to one of the discount stores in town calm during my drinking days. Well there was an issue that was on sale that -- me that I didn't have to have what are needed it are not there was that compulsion there was an absolute compulsion. Once I got a handle on my drinking and dealt with the underlying issues. I no longer wanted to -- shoes. Because I literally starts to -- it's stopping myself from going into a store because I didn't wanna walk by issued because I knew I couldn't control that atomic didn't understand it. Or just buying stuff from my house once I got a handle on what was going on with me -- Currently going shopping now -- -- meander through but even if I do I don't have to bite things anymore and I don't I can't even stand to shop anymore. Now that's very very interesting but it's. The compulsion you had clearly was related to the alcohol. It was related to something that was going on inside of me that was triggering me and I think that's I -- there's a psychological. Physical biological. Aspect of addiction to bring disease. But what you'll usually find you can't just stop it medically you have to then go. Internally and find out what is triggering -- what kind of -- resolve -- are you depressed are you feeling lonely. Are you acting out are you try because it becomes different. You'll go shopping before you'll call your friend goes on a park bench -- -- river is not the -- and is -- -- -- it becomes a relationship but what ends -- happening with these relationships. These addictive relationships as they start. Turn on us and stealing something from Los. And kill us and may be putting us in financial disrepair apparently in your case we're not. And got -- again or what I don't understand because they wanna call it an addiction and I know that it it it's. But what about people who we have hobbies of motorcycles. Racing cars. All boats. As so many other things and those are not considered addiction yet those hobbies are very expensive. I -- I think it's a price tag on addiction it's impulse control. So -- cannot control the impulse flora something's waking me up in the middle of the night are driving me until I get that are in your case your fortunate. Because in most alcoholics or are people with true shopping addictions. We'll continue to shop despite the fact that they've put themselves and negative ruined financially. So -- it's not that I have a hobby and that I go out and I enjoy doing it and it's expensive. But it's that this will wake me up in the -- night until I habit and I have to have it. And on it's the impulse control that is what is that really four in the forefront of most addictions. Well we are talking about shop -- X and compulsive mine and we'll be right back stay with us. RU a shop holly I mean can you even admit that you might be -- Pollack I think that's -- I'm always impressed with herself. Is that he's so open about it. But there are a lot of people who buy compulsively and I think what we're really hearing news it isn't just for the joy of shopping and something else. Let's go back and I also want to thank Mary Lou McCall and Terry Smith who both were with action against addiction -- a -- ism is an addiction. You -- greatly injure it it's an addiction because they cannot. Controlled their impulse and that's what I was talent -- that's the difference between having a hobby that's expensive. All are having something you have to do almost a list of almost to feel right. And and that can be anything in their finding that the brain science that there are studying now on the new brain science shows that it's the same centers. Of the brain that are played upon by -- -- -- and workaholic and feudal politics and -- it's just what you're drug choices. And the worst of course that we see -- in the drug addictions because they're they're so deadly but. The other workaholic from senate and shop hall of -- come with the same negative side effects. Our relationships and family. I think there has been some thought by my son who feel that shop Hollis and camp to be an addiction because it's not the physical. Withdrawal in the sense of alcohol -- drug. But but what -- saying it's it's in the same center of the brain for the means. Think the need isn't -- same center of the brain and -- and the release of endorsements and no I mean are are similar. Is it gonna have the physical withdrawal that like a heroin would have now. It's not. So when you talk about the addictions to its -- drugs or two -- -- you're gonna come with physical withdrawal because their chemicals. But I've got the loss of control of one's behavior to the point where. Family friends. Everything becomes secondary to this this whether it's food or shopping. In Marseille -- and and other cases at this time of the year shows is assigned as an addiction and addictive behavior might think. -- saying that. If you didn't get something and then you became obsessed with the idea of -- -- -- that's not letting go right. Right. I would hope that somebody somebody in that are listening audience. Rick hall and and give us their view. Are high they feel about shopping so I don't think I'm the only person mark in the face -- is greener. And heads this search. You're absolutely. -- you know where I wanted to offer also it affects the reward system that's what happens here. For example a fun lonely and I gonna go to store and shop. So you go to the store and shop and it fills that instant gratification you have this adrenaline rush this high but then you go home. Just like with any other addiction and it wears off and then the guilt sets in. That she spent all this money that you might not have so you're going further and further into bankruptcy. And you have to lie. You have to lie to your loved ones that you spent too much money these are the signs for people. And then you hide your stuff hiding stuff that's a big deal I mean in any addiction people hide it may lie about it. Well people who have a true shopping addiction start hiding and lying and a -- their spouse has written a storm for a came here. Twenty to 30000 dollars in debt this lady was in her husband found out that headed to that divorce court you know yes. But even getting separate credit cards and they don't think. -- running their all the tricks of the trade and hiding and I've known actually many people who didn't -- one when he's had a whole lot of women and you know here's something Angela. And we've been in the media for so long. And the media. Gives you this instant. Picture that buying things and having lots of clothes and having lots of issues. Leads to looking good and happiness. And instant gratification. And it sends this message to young girls from day one. That this is what we need to do I mean most women like shoes they do. You know and their comes a point where it gets out of hand sometimes. And that's where you can you know follow down that slippery slope but we're so. We're so bombarded with these messages of yeah we are neat so I think our cultural one preset it to me not to long ago. The 21 century sin is addiction in all its forms. Because addiction really is a separation separation from your higher power from your god you know because you're filling this on resolve need inside. And at this time this season when people exposed to be so happy and their wrapped in the east depressive attitudes or. They're lonely and they don't know what to do they go out and engage in these behaviors that they don't know why exactly but they're trying to fill this on resolve neat. And if we can get to the heart of that I think we can solve some of these -- it's that coupled with something you were touching on. We have become such a consumer society -- such an idea materialistic. Society. And don't misunderstand me I believe in capitalism I believe you know you. Make money spend it like you want to announce his -- But it's like over report. Well we weren't today and -- bronze on Carrollton avenue we go into that school and -- during -- -- on a 28 by city park on esplanade. And I was tell on the kids today you know to commercials tell you what you need to know while they don't they don't they tell you what they want it in on a paint the brightest rosiest picture. In order to sell you a product that you don't really need to have and they start at a very dominates the kids a look at that has. But you try to teach these kids at an early age to start thinking about things don't want the high of what you see on TV. Affect your decisions because they're gonna get your money you're gonna get your money so the programs that tearing -- bring into the school system. Actually address these things to help them not only stop maybe engaging an alcoholic drug abuse but they haters like this as well. What does this action against addiction. Mostly what we do an action against addiction is prevention and for the individual Foley to a lot we offer a lot of programs that go into the schools on that teach actually elementary school children through high school. Aged children about the dangers of substances and also about protecting their brain. About the whole issue that addiction is a brain disease that I'm in the very basis it is -- -- I driven disease and so we teach her about protecting their brain. How to be healthy because when I'm teaching you to be healthy. Then you're less likely to look outside a home for other things to do with so we also. Do things in the community we -- -- walk. More this year will be the third annual walk for recovery trying to. Highlight the solutions to addiction. Trying to say to the city there is an answer and there is recovery from this it's not just -- You're not just a shop -- Goran alcoholic and that and that's it and it's over for years their scope and there are answers. -- so we work in a lot of preventative health ways that health permits. Motion that is terrific. That's what we need to hear the clear answers that this isn't just. The discussion about -- -- in this agreed -- -- at this time a year I have to impress upon everyone out there I know there are a lot of people out there feeling depressed and lonely at this time -- suicides collapse. Addiction goes up at this time of year. Because really at the heart there's so much lacking with in ourselves and we even know we don't even know we're looking for some times you know weren't happy. And there is a solution to that I was in a with a group of armed men last night at a meetings -- mine. -- to work with and TV. I'll ask -- come moderate this meeting and there -- some newcomers and their young guys who had been on severe drugs. And I guess upon about the like I thought about my eldest son play you know there's there's something greater out -- fuel life if you're alive today. There's value to your life it doesn't matter what you did in the past. If you are doing something like you did that's telling you. Because you have some issues or somebody who's who may -- is not being nice to you and you don't have to deal with it's an attorney against yourself it's not worth it. There aren't solutions there are solutions out there. So you change your environment you don't go on -- store. And shop away all your money you don't go on a store like that you don't hang with friends who do that who -- -- drag you down here. He changer -- -- you get yourself a support group are people out there who are struggling who are silent about this because they're filled with shame. Because it's not logical to spend all your money. You know. Of an end to go into debt to ruin your relationships. It's not logical to drink your life away or take drugs and kill yourself. But there are so many people out there and there are many people out that they can help you can help you if you hang on. Beautifully -- we'll take another break we'll be right back as we talk about all kinds of addiction spent shopping in particular now let's go to. Dave cone in the newsroom. We are talking about them being a compulsive shopper a compulsive spender. Marcel -- wonderful friend who says he is one. And Maryland called Terry Smith both who work with action against addiction and I can't again thank you enough for. Talking about what is really kind of a tough subject. Not everybody wants to admit it until I admire Marcel. For at least discussing how to -- and have you ever had a moment when you did go home. He got the high in the store. And you're thrilled. And by the -- good homey sentiment Marcel what did you just do. I've looked at purchases and thought what they have resign thinking. We're not bought this kid now don't like it. Why did -- -- Just because it was on -- always that dirt cheap thing that has a lot to do with that and a lot of times I'll buy things that I life. And if I don't utilize him. At some point I just give them or given more weight with you and her your regards just take get it out of -- site. Because I don't remember buying and I don't remember -- liking it. And that's a little off the cuff but that's Howard is. No more -- and more -- since he talked about chopping it sounds like you're and it for the gamer for the hunt for yeah he's definitely the deal like you're getting. I was just at a place called to not -- -- there was a gentleman inside he was addicted to video games and I did what some people do. In -- video game attic and rolled my -- Because I work in this field than we talk about people are dying on the streets of PowerPoint. But what he said was he and when he explained did and my jaw dropped was he never left the front of the televisions that he never moved to go to the bathroom. He did it moved to eat he didn't go to sleep. And what they're finding now and a lot of ways this video game plan on the same war rewards senators the brain. So listening unit sounds like you also like the game -- If I'm out in that story and a kid we come in all. Something off the comment that -- morning. It's like that in my god. I know I shouldn't do that it was and are really want to abandon -- Did you show Angela that that -- you should mean today that you spent a 170 dollars but you saved 301333. Dollars. -- an analyst thinks the Al purchase did what did you by the Geneva. It's nothing that I needed it was because they were good price and there was a sale an earth -- -- -- -- -- obviously this. Let me rush was there Marshall what would happen if tomorrow. You knew you could not go shopping for three months. That you would not be in store. The three month I'm going to deep depression. It would be bad. Because the only thing that helped me through my operation. Where is the fact that -- once I did better I can get back out there. I had an amputation. Few years back. And it wasn't easy. But I decided I wasn't gonna be a negative. I want it to be a positive. And every day I try to make it as positive. As I can put. Their son gets a manner that's. And I just deal with a permit day to -- base. If he isn't losing his column if he isn't going into real debt the type of shopping he's doing is really entertainment. Other than you step over and you become obsessed with some things -- what would you suggest to help him. I would actually suggest and I would I would ask them and talk to someone who specializes in that the technology only for your own sake to no. Whether or not their behavior has crossed the line a lot of us I mean. My husband I'll tell you I'm very often tell him how much I spend to save money. And in control out what happens in addictive behavior is it's very normal behavior but it's taken to an extreme. So people drink normally but the -- politics to an extreme and people shop normally but the shop all it takes to the extreme and the food -- Take it to an extreme but what I would say US this usually there's something in there that. I denied myself in addiction. When I can heal that part of myself I feel like more of whole person. And so the benefits to speaking with someone would only be for you really. Where you can find somebody -- there. I'd be happy to do. But I really mean for shop I learned that I -- -- had a hand and I say this because I'm sitting watching you. -- you're talking that your operation. And people couldn't see that she burst into tears and I can feel your pain. You know and usually what a lot law this is a great deal on resolved pain and fear. Pain and the -- that I had it open and so. And it's and it's often still there and that we -- as human beings like those kinds of emotions that we run from the we ran from them and we will camouflage them we will look perfect we will not get the help we need known talking to someone. -- -- -- It's the best decision ever made because he stuff all this stuff inside view. Actually next month at the car which -- you know stinking -- expire. And she walked through some things and Payne died for a very long time and it was and then. It by the issues on the you know the story on network on I could move given way. Have to stop ourselves of which I did this year you know and remember Terry Tommy regrets and that's on me and I don't want it anymore. I turn and you will comment. That to addiction. -- be there should. One I think it's filling that hole and filling that void and also like when we don't in the schools we actually talk about kids to kids about uncomfortable emotions. That there are right. You're gonna be uncomfortable on life and that's not all we hear from the world you know it's that we are you can take this pill you can buy this you look that are less. Look younger healthier and what we're trying to Thomas it's all right that is human beings sometimes we just don't feel good and that's all right just feel it. Just feel it. We'll be right back. We're talking about town. Compulsive spending compulsive buying we're really talking about addiction. And we were talking in the commercial about. It -- a drinker can drink but an alcoholic is you say takes it to the extreme of regular people shop. An -- can take it to an extra. What are the tipping point -- at what point -- someone step over when they can't stop when it becomes their obsession. Their mind dispossessed. They wake up in the morning for example if he would wake up in the morning where my gonna go shopping today. What am I gonna spend comic and juggle my finance so I can get this. I've got to get their where it's the obsession all the time works like this voice in the back of their head. Calling them calling them calling them. And despite the consequences. And that is which is maybe going into debt losing relationships. Losing family. On isolating yourself. Lying about it like we said and all those other things that we were talking about. You do it anyway you do it anyway because people know because every addiction self diagnosed by saying it's self diagnosed. And I wanted to throw out there you know just before we run out of time. This is a little Catholic theology you know we're born with like this hole in our heart we are. And we feel with all this stuff whether it's relationships power shopping sex drugs alcohol. We have resolved to sneak because we really are born to be in a relationship with one another human beings. And with our higher power our guy you know and when we fill it with other things. We never satisfied were never happy I don't care how successful people are how much money they have. If they don't have that strong relationship with a higher -- because addiction has a spiritual component to it and even in the -- stop program and I'll tell you that. Then then you're still never completely happy. So actually it's the key to unlock the door to that if people can get there well I had that little voice now that are -- cents. On the market. On the ball constantly. Says that's where I'm looking for the door open and I -- again. And if I don't then I'm discouraged. But you know and that's why I think -- it's important to go maybe to go back and really resolve any issues with parent issues and -- his boys boys usually. Have what they call father wouldn't I don't know what your relationship with your father and I threw it not -- A father -- and police need their relationship with their -- they need that desperately. And so you don't even know what sometimes she'd grown up you're used to this and they don't have that. Com bonding that intimacy that they need with their fathers and so they find it elsewhere. And they carried into their adulthood and so those are the kinds of things he could look at you know 'cause I think there's still some pain in there that's on resolved about his relationship exactly we're more. I think I definitely think there's avoid a lot of times but what you have to say when you talk Panama and the economy addiction is. There's a predisposition. Then there's the genetic factor because there are a lot of people out there it's the tipping point of alcoholism or addiction. That they literally were an alcoholic the first time they are drank because they're brain this program not like. And it was inevitable that bout with the way it was gonna happen. So we talked about like diabetes than those kinds of diseases alcoholism is very similar in that some people are born with that. They have it it's in their genetics it's the brain disease that they're given and then some people acquire it. Through behaviors that they don't -- operate. Only style -- lifestyle and stay with this we're gonna continue our conversation right after this. I won a thing Marcel -- one thing Mary -- McCall and Terry Smith talking about addiction and we started off talking about shopping but. As we all learn it's all very close. And the fact is there's help and I think that's what we need to end. There is help there's definitely help I think and this city needs to learn that there's the solution there is the solution. Absolutely. And you know we work for action against addiction and there's addiction recovery resources of neurons that has a team of professionals and people there as well that can help them. On but I always encourage people being in recovery. Can somehow now yup you know and you -- -- -- -- and I think that's the bottom line you that helped us today and anybody who was listening. Thank you thank you thank you. Okay. And now let's go back to the newsroom and Dave --