Fashion Junkie Comes Clean
It’s hard to believe David Letterman, one of my favorite comedians, admitted he suffered from severe depression for 6 agonizing months. I watched his surprising confession on the Oprah Winfrey Network the other night and asked myself, “How could such an incredibly talented and successful person, beloved by so many, suffer from depression?” Then I thought, if only he went shopping!
Joking aside, I too happen to suffer from mild, situational depression along with 19 other adult Americans. But rather than turn to serotonin-enhancing drugs a la Prozac, I’ve masked my symptoms over the years via daily exercise and sadly, compulsive shopping. While I’m not proud of this behavior, nor am I asking for your sympathy, in light of Lance Armstrong’s recent confession, I felt that now seemed like an opportune time to air my dirty laundry.
The reality is depression and compulsive shopping (a.k.a. oniomania, yes, there’s even a clinical name for it) are inextricably linked, with the latter affecting roughly 6% of the American population. I’ve always been aware of my affliction, but, until now, I felt too proud to face the all too many, well-dressed skeletons in my closet. While I won’t divulge exactly how much damage I’ve done to my depleting savings account until Oprah asks me, I am ready to come clean and admit that retail therapy is only a BandAid solution to a much bigger problem. In case you’re wondering, the rush of euphoria that comes from receiving a “present” in the mail pales in comparison to the regret, feelings of guilt and costliness, which lasts far beyond the next fashion season’s new arrivals.
With the proliferation and ease of online shopping, ubiquitous in-store and online retail promotions (end of season sales are my downfall) and advent of flash-sale sites, it’s no surprise compulsive shopping and shopping bulimia (my personal vice thanks to free shipping and returns) has become so widespread. It came to no surprise that even the Oxygen network debuted a show last fall entitled, “My Shopping Addiction.” For further insight regarding oniomania warning signs and treatment, check out Fashion Junkie’s interview with compulsive shopping expert Terry Shulman.
As a first ditch effort in my recovery, I’m asking the Fashion Junkie community for your support and guidance every step of the way of my rehabilitation. From here on in, every time I get that craving for a coveted pair of Alexander Wang pointy-toe pumps, a buttery-soft leather motorcycle jacket (a major compulsion of mine thanks to Mackage) or an outlandishly priced Celine handbag (surprisingly, something I still don’t own), I promise to post said item on this site and solicit your advice before pulling the trigger. With your help, I’m hoping that this crowd-solving experiment of mine will put me on the road to recovery.