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Buzz Bissinger Overcomes Shopping Addiction at Rehab


Buzz BissingerBuzz Bissinger is an author from the United States who is best known for his Pulitzer Prize winning book Friday Night Lights. He checked into rehab last year because of a shopping addiction – he spent $638,000 (about £389,000) on just clothes alone in a three-year period. During his stay in rehab, Buzz was also able to acknowledge that he was dealing with other addictions including drug; it turned out that his shopping addiction was just the tip of the iceberg.

Can People Really Become Addicted to Shopping?

Many would see going to rehab for a shopping addiction extreme. There is less media attention given to this type of maladaptive behaviour. Some might even say that if Buzz Bissinger has earned the money, he deserves to spend it any way he likes. This might be a fair comment if this type of behaviour actually benefited the person’s life; the reality is that, like all addictions, compulsive shopping leads to suffering and negative consequences for those engaging in it.

There are many different ways to define ‘addiction’. A medical definition might say that it usually involves a physical and psychological dependence. A simpler way to describe an addiction would be to say that it refers to any behaviour that is causing obvious negative consequences for the person involved, yet he or she feels unable to stop it. Shopping addiction meets this criterion because:

  • many engage in this behaviour because they want to avoid their problems; this attempt at ‘numbing’ means their real problems just fester in the background
  • it can lead to financial ruin
  • it can lead to feelings of guilt
  • it may trigger symptoms of depression and thoughts of suicide
  • this type of avoidance behaviour can lead to other types of addictive behaviour.

The fact that a shopping addiction can have such a negative impact on a person’s life means that it needs to be taken seriously. The fact that the individual is engaging in this behaviour is usually a sign of an underlying problem. The benefit of entering a rehab programme is that it gives the person the opportunity to dig down to the root of their problem with the help of a therapist. During their stay in an inpatient rehabilitation programme, individuals get to pick up some better coping strategies so they no longer feel the need to turn to maladaptive behaviours like compulsive shopping.

Symptoms of Shopping Addiction

Comfort shopping is something most people engage in from time to time, and it is not necessarily a sign that the person is addicted to this behaviour. Shopping addiction refers to a pattern of behaviour that includes symptom such as:

  • regularly buying items that are never going to be used
  • going shopping every time one experiences any uncomfortable feelings
  • feeling a sense of release every time a purchase is made
  • feeling anxious when unable to go shopping
  • feeling guilty about shopping habits
  • feeling the need to hide the extent of a shopping habit
  • becoming defensive if others question the behaviour
  • regularly making purchases without ever intending to buy initially.

Buzz Bissinger Recovering from Shopping Addiction

Buzz Bissinger is thankful for being able to overcome his shopping addiction problems at rehab; he was also able to deal with the other issues that were preventing him getting the most out of life. During his stay, he began to face his issues, continuing this important work now that he has returned home. He can now see that he could not have gone on living the way he was before going into rehab.

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