DefinitionKleptomania 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.
CausesThe exact cause of kleptomania is not known. Chemical imbalances in the brain may play a role.
|Psychological disorders are sometimes the result of chemical imbalances in the brain. The frontal lobe of the brain is thought to provide impulse control.|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Risk FactorsKleptomania appears to be more common in females than in males.Kleptomania often occurs with other psychological disorders. These include:
- Substance abuse, such as alcohol use disorder and drug abuse
- Eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia
- Other impulse control disorders
- Having a first degree relative with a history of kleptomania, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, or alcohol or drug abuse
- Having a brain injury
SymptomsSymptoms 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 for revenge or personal gain
- Lack of a better explanation for the theft, such as another psychological disorder
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