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This is where the deep shame and embarrassment come from.When shoplifters come to me, they say, 'Why do I do this?Far from sociopaths, "they're almost the opposite," he says."Many are religious and have very strong ethical codes."—but the underlying feeling of being wounded, being deprived, is there.Next: Behind the shoplifting addiction Certainly, it was there for Betsy Samson, a patient of Shulman's."I can only speculate about Winona Ryder's personal issues," says Shulman, "but shoplifting is rarely about money." A celebrity is as capable as anyone else of feeling life hasn't treated her fairly, he explains.The content of the distress may be different from that of an ordinary person—"If I were just a little prettier, I would have gotten that role" or "Why didn't I win the Oscar?
For a few minutes, they've made life fair again." This is true even among the rich and famous.Walk into Betsy Samson's* airy spanish-style home in Los Angeles, and the first thing you notice is its spareness.Crayon drawings line the walls, evidence of her two young children, but otherwise the place is minimalist—which is startling given how Samson has spent the past 15 years.Although there is no evidence that kleptomaniacs suffer childhood trauma at a rate any greater than that of the rest of the population, Samson was an abused child.While her father threw himself into his work as a university professor, her mother, Samson says, was a narcissist who humiliated and neglected her children while sending them to psychiatrists to get "at the roots of their problems." She would threaten to cut them up and once brought home a fetus from the hospital, where she had a temp job, to demonstrate how she'd do it. Her mother, who dressed extravagantly, would occasionally buy her a few items from Goodwill.