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Lexapro & Shoplifting(implulsive behaviors)
Lexapro & Shoplifting(implulsive behaviors)
My 22 yr old son is an Opiate addict who was taking Suboxone and Lexpro.
I'm not sure if he is taking the Sub anymore, but he did recently increase the Lexapro from 10mg to 20mg, per his therapist suggestion. He said that he was still feeling alot of anxiety. Anyhow about 6-7 weeks ago, probably close to the time that he started both meds, he started shoplifting excessively. I'm talking thousand of $$$$ of merchandise... He was arressted 2 wks ago for shoplifting. A felony because it was over $2000.00 worth of stuff.
He says he can't help himself. He says he gets bored and this gives him a thrill. His sponsor says he's replacing one addiction for another.
Even after getting caught by the police he still venturedback into the store where he was stealing 15 mins. after leaving hiscourt hearing. Why would someone do that??????
So I guess what i'm getting down to is this... Is it possible that by taking Lexapro, which is supposed to suppress impulsive behavior, can it actually cause him to act impulsively? Has anyone ever had a problem like this when taking an anti-depressant of any kind? Or even the Suboxone? I'm at my witts end with this son of mine. He's a senior in college studying "Law"!!! and he's throwing it all away.
Please,anyone who care shed any light on this sunbject I'd be truly grateful.
Thanks for you response. I agree that he needs "A big slap in the head".
But after reading from some shoplifting addiction websites I believe that thismight be something that is partially caused my the drug addiction itself, along with the anti-depressants. Here ar some of the signs of SL addiction that I took from the website Ehow.com:
1 Find out the reasons a person sho
plifts. Shoplifting addiction is often a way for a person to bring meaning to his life. Shoplifting addicts steal to bring a thrill to their lives and as a way to escape their problems.
2 Look at the person's criminal history. Shoplifting addicts often continue to steal, even after getting caught or arrested for shoplifting.
3 Notice the effects of the person's shoplifting. Shoplifting can cause sleeping and eating problems. She may also show signs of generalized anxiety. If you suspect a person has a shoplifting problem, note her behavioral changes.
4 See if the person suffers from another type of addiction. Shoplifting addicts often suffer from other addictions as well. Studies show that **************** addicts, drug addicts and compulsive overeaters have a higher incidence of shoplifting addiction.
My son shows signds of all these symptons. Also a friend from work told me that her 15 yr old son was suffering from impulsive behavior from taking Lexapro. Now she didn't explain what kind of behavior, but it got me thinking. He has changed sssoooooo much since taking these meds that I can't help but wonder if maybe it is the meds.
He himself never did blame it on the meds.
Thanks again for your response.
Maybe I need a smack to wake up to reality. It's just been a hard 6 months watching your child's life go dwn the tubes...... All over Drugs!!
I'm inclined to agree with Robert. I suppose it is possible that the Lexapro lifted some inhibitions: sometimes SSRIs do weird things, and I'm not one to say "never." However, his behavior really does sound like pretty typical addict BS, and I'm thinking his sponsor is right.
Was it his idea to blame the Lexapro, or yours? I know you must be absolutely at the end of your rope. But the only thing that's really going to help your son is for him to begin to take responsibility for himself and his actions. Making excuses for him or allowing him to do the same is not going to do him any good. He has to deal with what he's done. He's obviously a smart young man, but addiction can make the smartest people do dumb things. And the only way out of that is to take responsibility and move forward as best as possible.
Take care, and good luck.
It looks like we were writing our posts at the same moment.
So your son started the Lexapro at the same time he got clean? If so, that's a hard call, because it's difficult to say if his behavior might be due to the Lexapro or the pressure of trying not to live like an addict. The shoplifting started right after the dose was raised?
This is kind of a tough one. Have you talked to his doctor about it? It seems clear to me that there is underlying addictive behavior there, with or without Lexapro. I guess I would really turn to the doctor for an opinion, and if the doctor isn't smart enough find another one. I'm serious about that.
The thing is that life without drugs really can seem boring to an addict. It's totally sick, but that's often the way we feel. We need to learn to live in the real world and not always get every little impulsive desire met. It's one of the hardest struggles of recovery for some people.
He is on the Lexapro for anxiety rather than depression?
I don't take any drugs at the moment, but
I do know about shoplifting addiction.
I steal from every store I go in, and just like
your son said, i can't help myself, and it does
give you quite a thrill. I have anxiety, and unlike
most, I enjoy the feeling of being scared and
being numb...and since shoplifting is a scary
thing, expecally in tight stores, it makes it
very nerve racking, and I enjoy that.
Maybe it's something like that?
He was in rehab about 6 mths ago, and the longest he was clean was for about 45 days. He started to do the oxys again around Dec., and also started seeing a therapist around late Jan early Feb. He couldn't stay clean, and "we" thought a therapist might help. Soon after that he said the therapist suggested he go on Suboxone and possibly an anti-depressant. He stared the Sub and the Lexapro late in Feb.. The extremey "noticeable" shopliftng started about a month ago, appox the same time that he increased his lexapro to 20mg. Coincidence, probably...But he has alot of emotional issues also that are going on too. I believe that he stoped taking the Sub about 2-3 wks ago. He says he's taking 4 mg a day, but I don't believe him. He's probably doing the oxy again, but I'm not sure.
Schools end in about 2 wks so when I see the grades I'll knw whether or not he been "pulling my leg" on hat end also.
He also has pendng court case for drug possesion that he was in the process of applying for an ARD program, which has now been destroyed due to the shoplifting charges. Thats why I find it sohard to believe that he'd do this knowing that he had a pending case. His chances of going to jail are more real now than ever. He's doesn't seem to be afraid of that???
Thanks for listening.
It really was the Lexapro
We need to unite. It really was the lexapro. This isn't the only time I've heard of this. It's easy for people to laugh or misunderstand. But when you are on this drug, impulsivity can go off the charts. I know that's what happened for me. I did some really stupid/crazy things, had manic episode and yes I stole stuff also. I never would have done it if I hadn't been taking that medicine. Just thinking about taking stuff now makes me ill--why? Because I'm not taking it.
YOu said he didn't seem to care. That's Lexapro. For some reason it hijacks your moral center. You becomes so un-anxious that you can't stop yourself from doing things. Your moral filter disappears.
I kept a blog of all the stupid stuff I did.