Returnaholic

"I'm considered a return-a-holic; the constant need to go to the store to buy anything, and realize I really didn't need that, so then I turn around and go back to the store the next day and return it," says Gina. "The type of feeling I obtain from shopping is an adrenaline rush, and it's complete power. I'm able to buy anything in the store " the Coach, or the Louis Vuitton purse, a car " like all the other people can, who are in a higher class."

 

Gina acknowledges that her obsession greatly affects her finances. "Because of my constant need for shopping and spending, we're at the point of filing for bankruptcy right now," she shares.

"She has charged $40,000 to $50,000 within a two-year span," says Dustin, Gina's husband.

[AD]"My credit cards are now currently maxed out. I opened up credit cards in my husband's name without his knowledge," Gina reveals.

"My credit, to me, is very important. I got to the point where I called the cops and told her that I was going to throw her in jail," Dustin says. "I'm at the point, right now, I'm ready to divorce her."  

"I pleaded with him, and he hung up the phone and said, ‘OK, fine, but things are going to have to change now,'" Gina says. "I do have a problem. This is not normal."

"You do know this isn't right. You know this isn't normal," Dr. Phil says to Gina.

 

"Absolutely, I know this is not normal," she says. "My biggest fixation is the return part."

 

"What do you mean?" Dr. Phil asks.  

"I will buy makeup, tons of different types of expensive makeup, Tiffany jewelry. I will buy Coach purses, Louis Vuitton, when I already have two Louis Vuittons at home, and they are just sitting there. I haven't used them. The next day, or maybe a couple of days later, I will go back and say, ‘I'm going to go return this,'" Gina explains.  

[AD]"So your high is not the purchase, it's the return? Or it's both?" Dr. Phil probes. 

"It's essentially both, but my adrenaline rush is more based on the return," she says. Gina doesn't know why she's behaved like this for the last eight years. "When I return something, I'll generally get the cash back, because I don't want to return it back to the credit card, because we're filing bankruptcy. So I take the cash, and I spend it on something more expensive or higher, and it gives me a sense of power, just a feeling of, you know what? I can buy this, and maybe the girl standing next to me can't. But I can."

 

Dr. Phil doesn't mince words with Gina.

 

 

Dr. Phil reads part of the letter Gina wrote to the show. "You said, ‘I need your help. My family and I are truly suffering. I'm filing bankruptcy for the third time.' You're actually forcing [Dustin] to file bankruptcy because you have already taken it twice, and there is a seven-year limit, so you can't do it again till 2010. So, you're now dragging him down."

[AD]"Exactly," Dustin agrees.

 

Dr. Phil continues reading. "‘I constantly shop. I'm the queen of returns. It's come down to returning food, just for a high. It consumes my everyday life. I don't give my family any attention. It's always about buy and return. I'm talking a much deeper-root issue than shopaholic, and it's tearing our family apart,'" he says. Dr. Phil asks her why she behaves as she does.

 

Gina reveals her theory and admits to illegal behavior.