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Psychiatric Disorders


 

Kleptomania

 

Category


Impulse Control Disorders

 

Etiology


Kleptomania appears to be much more common in females, but little is understood about the etiology. There is also some association with other disorders such as depression and anxiety.

 

Symptoms


Kleptomania involves the failure to resist impulses to steal things that are not needed for either personal use or for their monetary value. There is typically anxiety prior to the act of theft and relief or gratification afterward. If the theft is related to vengeance or psychosis, kleptomania should not be diagnosed. (Kleptomania is quite rare, where common shoplifting is not).

 

Treatment


Treatment typically involves behavior modification. Other treatment approaches involve seeing the theft as an unconscious process and analyzing it as such may assist in gaining insight and eventually extinguishing the behavior.

 

Prognosis


Prognosis is fair, but can increase with a positive therapeutic relationship and a strong motivation to change the behavior. Kleptomania often goes untreated and results in legal difficulties.

 

 

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