'Friday Night Lights' Author Buzz Bissinger on Rehab: 'I Had a Breakdown on Pretty Much Every Front'
Friday Night Lights author Buzz Bissinger is opening up about his time in rehab, adding that it wasn't just a shopping addiction that caused him to get help, and saying that everyone should do it.
Bissinger revealed that he spent more than $500,000 on clothes since 2010 in a 6,000-word essay in last April's GQ. The day after his essay was posted online, Bissinger reportedly checked himself into rehab to seek treatment for his shopping addiction. He also disclosed in his GQ essay that he was a sex addict who was into S&M.
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But now he says he sought help for other problems, too.
"I went into rehab for a variety of compulsive and dangerous behaviors -- shopping addiction the least of them," he tells Vanity Fair. "I was doing physical harm to myself and beginning to take pharmaceuticals. I did tremendous damage to my marriage and caused my wife unforgivable pain. I also hurt others. I no longer cared about anything. I had a breakdown on pretty much every front. It had been in the making for years.
"The GQ story really did create an enormous misperception, one that was my fault," he continued. "But I do not regret it. It was my way of bottoming out and knowing that I needed in-treatment help. I could no longer continue the way I was living."
Although he had been seeing a therapist, the author says he "needed something intensive," claiming that he was "doing damage to [himself], far beyond shopping."
In fact, Bissinger was so impressed by the help he received that he said, "I think everybody should go to rehab. It’s called rehab, but it’s 60 days of stepping out of your life and thinking very hard and working, because you’re seeing therapists basically 12 hours a day."
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One topic the author says Bissinger thought about during treatment was how the positive and negative press he received affected him. As a result, he says he stopped Googling himself -- which he used to do four or five times a day -- and no longer does any TV, turning down all requests.
Bissinger goes on to refer to his shopping addiction as "the tip of the iceberg," but says that he keeps all of his designer clothes in a large, climate-controlled storage locker, which he rents for $244 a month.
In fact, if anyone wants a nice piece of clothing -- say something from Gucci or one of his 80 leather jackets -- they're available, he says.
Bissinger's GQ essay was the last magazine story he did prior to his time in rehab, but in February's Vanity Fair, he investigates the case of three Oklahoma teens who were arrested for the alleged motiveless shooting of a college student.
The author says he is now focusing on reporting.