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How Changing My Biochemistry Cured My Shopping Addiction

Aisling FitzGibbon

I have a confession to make. Many years ago, I was a shopping addict. There was nothing in the world I liked more than buying shoes and clothes. I worked weekend jobs to fund my shopping expeditions and even the anticipation of shopping gave me a high.

I know I drove my friend Shane bonkers as he had to wait patiently outside changing rooms as I repeatedly asked him if my bum looked right in this pair of jeans or the one I had tried on ten minutes ago. It mattered not a jot that I’d to work long hours receiving the minimum wage in a job I had grown to intensely dislike. All that concerned me was knowing that at the end of the week I could go shopping.  

Purchasing gave me such a rush of feel good chemicals. I remember working the summer before I went to University and the money I made from my job in a shoe store, that was meant for college, was spent on bags of new clothes or shoes every week. There was no talking to me until one day I realised I had nine similar pairs of brown shoes and I certainly didn’t need all of them. Actually, my mother pointed this out and lined them up around the wall. Clearly I had a problem.

My shopping addiction was a classic symptom of a dysfunctional brain chemistry with low serotonin levels. This is common with people who addict to either shopping or gambling etc. On a mental level I knew I wasn’t behaving rationally but the chemical rush that shopping gave me was so incredibly addictive. In hindsight I was just trying to create a balance I didn’t possess inside. Unfortunately, I would have to keep shopping to maintain that balance and that wasn’t possible. After a few hours I would go back to a low grade energy and mood.

I then switched to exercising to feel better, all the while trying to balance my brain chemistry.  Due to a high copper levels I had weak adrenals and the excess exercise in the gym further over taxed them, leading to a horrible burnout. My mood that I had tried to keep buoyant with exercise and shopping took a nose dive.  

What on the outside appeared to be a shopping addiction and excess exercise, really was my body’s way of trying to create some semblance of homeostasis. All I knew was that I needed outside stimulus to make me feel good. I needed the maximum high to raise my serotonin levels.

From my training with Dr Bill Walsh of the Walsh Research Institute, I learnt that there are 5 biotypes of people who suffer from depression, I guess that I must have been an under methylator as I did respond in some way to SSRI medication. I didn't fully recover from medication however as neither my adrenal health nor my mineral status was addressed which meant that I continued to suffer from a low-grade energy and anxiety.

When I look back on the healing protocol from which I recovered I was given a diet and supplements that remedied my methylation status, reduced copper toxicity and raised my energy. The diet focused on hydration to ensure that my cells would absorb the supplements. In no particular order and at various times I took magnesium, magnesium with B vitamins, vitamin B 6, Vitamin C, choline and inositol, zinc, iodine, krill oil and flax oil.  My programme of minerals was gradually introduced as taking all of them at once would have been too much for the organs of elimination. I was made aware of how I could expect to feel when I took zinc for instance as taking zinc along with B6 began the process of eliminating copper from my tissues.

High copper in areas such as the liver and brain can make a person feel very irritable and annoyed over every perceived misdemeanour of others. Copper toxicity is linked to negative emotions and excessive ruminations. Eliminating copper involves mobilising copper from tissue storage sites which then enters the blood stream. This can cause huge energy fluctuations, mood swings and headaches. I personally experienced headaches, a low mood and I felt irritable and extremely vulnerable. I used coffee enemas to help my liver process the copper being removed and an infrared sauna that was literally a life saver.

Had I not been aware of how awful I would feel when toxicity flooded my body, I would have been reluctant to continue on my healing journey. Knowledge of what was happening at each stage empowered me and allowed me to understand what was going on when I experienced various symptoms such as a rash, irritational anger and dips in my energy. It felt like layers were being peeled away and each time I felt lighter, more energetic and happier. I recall that when I was replete with minerals I began to take flaxseed oil and my brain literally sparked back into life. I began to naturally create my own serotonin and I was no longer depressed or dependent on outside things to make me feel happy.

Changing my biochemistry began to change my life as the changes we make on the inside are reflected back to us from the outside. As I began to open up at a cellular level, life began to open up for me. As I felt happier inside I attracted wonderful life experiences and people.

From my own personal experience and my training I can understand what’s happening to others on their health journey. At every stage I act as a guide, interpreting where people are at and where they need to go. As we recover from deficiencies that could have been incurred from our ancestral line we begin to heal for future generations who will be stronger and healthier because of parents with a more balanced biochemistry.

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