Kleptomania is the inability to resist impulses to steal. The things that are stolen are not needed for personal use. They are also not taken for their monetary value. This is a rare condition.


The exact cause of kleptomania is not known. Chemical imbalances in the brain may play a role.
Frontal Lobe
Frontal lobe
Psychological disorders are sometimes the result of chemical imbalances in the brain. The frontal lobe of the brain is thought to provide impulse control.
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Risk Factors

Kleptomania often occurs with other psychological disorders. These include:Other risk factors include:
  • Having a family history of the condition
  • Having a brain injury
Kleptomania appears to be more common in females than in males. There are no other known risk factors.


Symptoms of kleptomania include all of the following:
  • A repeated inability to resist impulses to steal things that are not of personal value
  • A feeling of relief, joy, and/or pleasure when stealing things
  • Feeling of guilt or remorse after the event
  • Thefts that are not committed out of anger or revenge
  • Lack of a better explanation for the theft, such as another psychological disorder

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