Kleptomania symptoms

This is one of an interesting disorder.  

Am sure that you’ll be shocked when you know about this in detail. People’s general question are what is kleptomania? what are its signs, how it’s caused and is it curable?

What is kleptomania?

Kleptomania is also known as pathological stealing, which is an impulse control disorder where an individual cannot control their impulse or the urge to perform specific activities. These kinds of disorders are characterized by repetitive acts that do not have any clear and rational motivation.

The term klept means to grab/to act secretly. It is considered pathological because it is a condition where an individual repeatedly fails to resists their impulses to steal stuff that may not be for personal use/monetary gains; mostly they just discard or give away.

So, is it all about stealing?

No. The interesting fact is it’s not the same as stealing. Stealing is a planned action done for personal gains. Kleptomania- an individual may steal a needle; it’s not about grabbing the object, but the pleasure/gratification that they gain from the action of stealing.

 Kleptomaniacs have tension before and a sense of gratification during and immediately after the act. They may express anxiety, despondency, and guilt between the episodes of stealing; sadly this does not stop them from repeating.

Exceptional cases!

Some conditions are excluded like; firstly, repeated shoplifting without the presence of any other mental illness, and the act is planned and is only for personal gain. Secondly, organic mental disorder like poor memory/ intellectual deterioration may lead to not to pay the bill after purchase, are excluded and thirdly, depressive disorder with stealing, some depressed individuals steal and may do repeatedly as long as they are depressive disorder persists.

Do you suspect that you best buddy/girlfriend or even yourself suffer this condition?

Here are few signs of kleptomania.

  • Intense urge to steal.

  • Sense of tension before sealing.

  • Feeling relief and anxiety after stealing.

  • Acts are spontaneous and not goal-directed.

  • Lifted objects are no used, given away, thrashed.

  • Not only shoplifting, they also steal from a social gathering like party, ceremony


  • 2/3rd kleptomaniacs are females.

  • onset age is 20’s or teenage 

What actual cause for kleptomania is?

There is no clear-cut reason, but theorists say that there might be various factors that may lead to this.

  • Genetic: first-degree blood relative with kleptomania, OCD increase the chances.

  • Biochemical imbalance: low level of serotonin increase impulsive behavior. Imbalance in dopamine cause addictive behavior.

  • Medical conditions: bipolar, anxiety, eating disorder, substance abuse & personality disorder.

  • Head trauma/ brain injury.

How it’s treated?

There are no standard treatments, but a combination of different methods is used. 

Medications: antidepressants, mood stabilizers. Addiction medications are prescribed.

Psychotherapy: Cognitive Behavioral therapy, covert sensitization, Aversion therapy, systematic desensitization.

Though the exact cause of the disorder is unknown, symptoms can be identified and diagnosis can be made. With the help of various available treatment methods like pharmaceutical, psychological methods, the symptoms of the disorder can be managed in the long run.

Please seek the help of a mental health care professional, please do not treat yourself. Like this..for appointments call us at +91 9513673735