Refers to the recurrent inability to resist urges to steal items that you generally don’t really need and that usually have little value.

Rare but serious mental health disorder.

A type of impulse control disorder, characterized by problems with emotional or behavioral self-control.

Patients have difficulty resisting the temptation or drive to perform an act that’s excessive or harmful.

Many people with kleptomania are afraid to seek mental health treatment.

There is no cure for kleptomania.

Treatment with medication or psychotherapy may help to end the cycle of compulsive stealing.

Symptoms may include:

Inability to resist powerful urges to steal items that you don’t need.

Feeling increased tension, anxiety or arousal leading up to the theft.

Feeling pleasure, relief or gratification while stealing.

Feeling t2242ible guilt, remorse, self-loathing, shame or fear of arrest after the theft.

Return of the urges and a repetition of the kleptomania cycle.

People with kleptomania do not compulsively steal for personal gain, on a dare, for revenge or out of rebellion.

They steal because the urge to do so is so powerful that they can’t resist it.

Episodes generally occur spontaneously, without planning or collaboration.

Most people steal from public places, such as stores and supermarkets, but may steal from friends or acquaintances.

Often, the stolen items have no value to the person.

Often the person can afford to buy the stolen items.

Items stolen are usually stashed away, never to be used.

Items may also be donated, given away to family or friends, or even secretly returned to the place from which they were stolen.

It is a mental health condition, not a character flaw.

Cause is not known.

Neurotransmitters may play a role.

Low levels of serotonin are common in people prone to impulsive behaviors.

Stealing may cause the release of dopamine.

Dopamine causes pleasurable feelings, and some people seek this rewarding feeling.

Often begins during the teen years or in young adulthood, but can start in adulthood or later.

About two-thirds of people with known kleptomania are women.

Kleptomania risk factors may include:

Family history- Patients having a first-degree relative with kleptomania, obsessive-compulsive disorder, alcohol or other substance abuse disorder may increase the risk.

Having another mental illness.

Left untreated, kleptomania can result in severe emotional, family, work, legal, social and financial problems.

Associated conditions include:

Other impulse-control disorders, such as compulsive gambling or shopping

Alcohol and substance misuse

Personality disorders

Eating disorders


Bipolar disorder


Suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts and suicide

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