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I want to stop, help me!

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I want to stop, help me!

Postby rememdium26 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:55 am

I started stealing stuff "casually" when I was in high school, but just occasionally, when the opportunity presented itself or I wanted a "thrill" -- shoplifting never had power over me then the way I feel it does now. Fast forward a few years, I'm in my last year of college, and things have changed. In the past two years, both the frequency and irresistible impulse to steal things has become massive, probably because I realized how easy it is to do -- after this recognition, it became hard to pay for things when I knew I could get them for free, but I guess also angry that it was so easy and that I couldn't control myself.

I've had a melancholic disposition for as long as I can remember, experienced my first real depressive "episode" (lasted 8 months) when I was 16, was prescribed lexapro, been in and out of therapy for years, and while I've mostly found the anxiety manageable in the sense that I could carry out basic human and social functioning, I now feel at an incredible loss for a strong personal, distinct identity I once enjoyed. Over the past few years, I have felt and watched my attention, focus, excitement, and awareness slip away helplessly. I feel I have lost the "mindfulness" that once defined me as an intuitive, creative, and insightful person, and am know instead overwhelmed by confusion, frustration, self-hatred and doubt. I find so much of my energy is unconsciously spent combatting these emotions that feel so wrong and uncomfortable that I have none left for the important stuff, like basic processing of personal experience and exploration of interests. As a result, I find myself in a physically uncomfortable state most times, and feel uncontrollably sick (in so many ways), ashamed, helpless, and furious. I feel as if I have been tricked into living a life not worth my energy. I also feel as If I have lost my memory and fail to register and archive new ones.

I guess I never made a connection between my depression/anxiety and my shoplifting "habit" until very recently (maybe today) but there's probably a correlation. Like I said, in the past, I would do it when the opportunity spontaneously arose, but now I find myself actively seeking occasions on which to do it. For instance, before I might do it if I happened to be in a clothing store but now I will plan to go to the clothing store for the sole reason to take things. I want to make it clear that I do not steal because I have no money. Everything I have stolen I could have bought with my own money. I do not take things I need and could otherwise not have -- I almost always take clothes, makeup, something books but nothing really expensive. At this point I find it almost impossible to go into a store and leave without pocketing something, even if its just a cheap lipstick or something, but its enough to satiate the obsessive urge to take things. I couldn't explain or rationalize why I do it -- while I'm in the store I internally fight with myself but the good part of me can never win and I always give in. At first when I got away with it I was pleased, feeling like I gave myself something I would otherwise never buy, but now I'm at the point where I feel empty but also disgusted and embarrassed that I'm so incapable of controlling my gross habit. I have never told anyone and no one knows the frequency in which I do it or the power it has over me, as I always do it alone. I've never been caught but have perversely hoped on multiple occasions to be stopped as a way to forcefully stop this madness.

I have a few other bad habits related to my anxiety/depression but nothing that hurts anyone other than myself, in other words, I have no other characteristics of a criminal. I don't do this for monetary gain or because I don't have a choice. I think I do it because it momentarily eases my harsh self-criticism and makes me feel like I can become the person I want, with the aid of what I've taken (prettier with makeup, smarter with the books) all for free.

Someone please help me :oops:
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Re: I want to stop, help me!

Postby loise » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:32 am

Hi! thanks for sharing!! you know? I do not think that shoplifting is an bad habit....maybe you have some compulsive behaviour...so it takes over you and you drive along...you need to see that with a therapist but I think of something else too....when I was give antideppressiva...I ended up behaving through impulse, without thinking twice over consequences, it was like my personality changed, I spoke to my psychiatrist and he explained me that antidepressives are des-inhibitors...so for example...you think of something, but your common sense, your rules, society expectations works as a brake, they stop you...with some people not all, the effect is so strong that your behaviour becomes unpredictable.

you say some positive things about you....the bad things let them run through your head like the dirt in a river, let it pas, do not try to hold it, do not try to control it, just let it be....I often have to deal with horrible things in my mind, we are exposed to so many things, so I think...before becoming afraid....I say: let de dogs out ( my ugly self) and you let the wild dogs out (in your mind) without attempting it to control or to stop it, but also without owning it, it is sometimes beyond ourselves. Own the positive in you and write it and read it and repeat it everyday!! let it take over your life. if you can think of the positive everyday, give thanks, and you see that the negative will become smaller...it might not disappear, but it will become at times harmless..... all of us in this forum, walk with an open wound, but still in one way or the other try to leave something positive behind us. do not dismay! there is hope! good luck!
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