The catastrophic effects of becoming a shopaholic will literally be the death of me. Whilst being treated with Requip, which is a Dopamine Agonists from 2003-2005 I turned into a monster!!
I began to shop more and more, buying things that I couldn't afford or even needed. I became an expert in manipulation and it became so easy to convince my family or friends that I really needed 300 pairs of shoes, 60 hats, 30 coats and the most expensive underwear that I could find. I would tell myself that I might have the shakes, but oh boy, I will at least look good while I shake!! Oh no, it wasn't that I just shopped for me....no....I am by nature a very generous person, so, if I saw something that I liked but it didn't fit me, I would buy it for somebody else. Household goods consisting of, 13 fancy light fittings, side tables, bedding ect, ect, all of which wouldn't fit into my home, so ended up in the loft.
At that time I had a job that paid very well and I was earning a lot more than my husband. I could afford the credit card repayments, "so why shouldn't I?" I told myself. I would reach my credit limit and the card company would increase it, when I reached the most that they would give, I would simply apply for another card to a different company, easy!!!
I managed the household budgeting and my husband and I had separate bank accounts, so he didn't have a clue just how deep I was in debt and to be honest, being the sort that is happy to let someone else have the worry, he didn't ask. If he tried to question any particular purchase I would always manage to manipulate him into seeing why we needed the goods.
I continued to attend my neuro appointments, each lasting about ten minutes and each time my doctor would ask the same questions " Are you constipated, how are your water works, how have the shakes been and do you feel the meds are working". I would dutifully provide answers and nod when he said "Fine, see you in 12 months" as he ushered me out of the door, sending me right back into the lion’s den.
Money was becoming tighter, my monthly budget was beginning to bulge with the weight of the debts and I began to 'rob Peter to Paul' so to speak. Then it happened.
I lost my job, the reasons for that is another story but it was a disaster. I could no longer meet the debts and I was receiving phone calls and letters by the score, the stress began to affect me and I could no longer work. Then my hubby lost his job through no fault of his own, but the stark reality was that we had no income now. Time was running out and we knew that at some point we might lose our home. Life went on this way, we had to learn to rein our spending in, sometimes we had little food in the home and we were keeping lights out and heating off, then that time of year came around again, time to see the neuro. This time my husband just happened to be with me.
The usual procedure entailed, bowels, shakes and general health, then the ushering to the door, the proverbial ten minute slot was over, "if there’s nothing else" the doctor said as walked us to the door. “You wouldn't have a pill that could stop her spending money, would you doctor?" my husband jokingly said. WHAM.........
The doctor’s smile disappeared quickly and he sat back down indicating with his hand for us to sit also. It was then that he explained that the Requip that he was happily prescribing for me, was in fact causing an obsessional behaviour and was the reason why we found ourselves penniless and financially bereft. We had never been given any indication that OCD was a possible side effect of Requip by the neurologist and it wasn't on the package leaflets of the drug at that time, so how would we know?
That was 6 years ago, we remain financially unstable but we have managed to hold onto the house for now, although we know that might only be for a short time. Due to the dire employment situation in England my husband is still without a job and I am unable to work due to my pd. We are trying to pay off the debts I incurred slowly out of our state benefits which leaves us very little to feed ourselves or run the heating/lighting ect.
I joined a PD forum some years later and it was only then that I realised the extent of the Dopermine Agonist's terrible, life changing side effects, namely Compulsive Behaviors.
I learned through the forum that in some countries people that were affected by OCD had been compensated and thought that if we had the opportunity to do this we could at least pay off the debts, which would allow us to have our life back, albeit changed beyond recognition. Having sought legal advice I have been informed by a solicitor that I am unable to take the Pharmaceutical Company to Court because it's over 3 years since I took the drug, that's the time limit set to address such cases. It would appear that this was waivered by the Courts in other countries due to the circumstances and anybody that was affected by OCD pre 2006 were allowed to take the matter to Court.
I know now that I will die in debt and the worry might just see me off earlier than expected, but how on earth could we have known back then? Life can be so unfair!