What is Kleptomania?
In addition, other conditions including anxiety (childhood abuse, childhood neglect, sexual repression or abuse), depression, substance abuse (alcohol, smoking, drugs), moodiness, stress, and eating irregularities (bulimia, anorexia) are found to give rise to the condition of kleptomania. Sometimes, kleptomania may also be more prevalent in a family with multiple members being affected with the condition. Brain disorders, such as dementia or epilepsy and brain injury may also result in kleptomanic tendencies.
What are the Symptoms of Kleptomania?The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV-TR) has classified kleptomania as an impulse-control disorder.
Some of the symptoms of kleptomania are given below:
- No prior disturbing situation of anger or hallucination that results in theft
- Steals things that are of no personal or monetary value
- Experiences a thrill and joy at stealing the object
- No behavioral disorder or social aberration that prompts kleptomania
- Feels guilty and remorse after the theft is carried out
How to Diagnose Kleptomania?Patients with kleptomania do not have any definite molecular symptoms that can be diagnosed with the typical blood or X-ray tests. Since it is an impulse-control disorder, primary physicians first do a complete medical checkup by taking the medical history and perform a physical examination. Patients with kleptomania that arise due to brain injuries or trauma, need to be physically examined.
Kleptomania patients are referred to psychologists and psychiatrists. Being a mental disorder, these specialists utilize effective health assessment tools that detect and confirm this mental condition.
What is the Treatment for Kleptomania?Kleptomania is diagnosed by a psychologist or a psychiatrist. There are numerous hypotheses of the possible nature of the condition and what may cause it. However, there is no definite clue as to what exactly causes kleptomania.
Hence, the associated conditions of anxiety, stress, and substance abuse may be treated and in effect, the treatment may help the condition of kleptomania.
Psychotherapy or counseling
This is one of the common forms of treating kleptomania. Individuals are assessed for their psychological problems and are subjected to one of the three forms of therapy, such as family counseling, cognitive behavior therapy, and behavior modification therapy.