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It is consider an impulse control disorder that causes an uncontrollable desire to steal. Kleptomania is a complex disorder that is often suffered by patients who are chemicallydependents, who suffer anxiety attacks or eating disorders. It is common that kleptomania is accompanied by other mental disorders such as: major depression, panic attacks, social phobia, anorexia nervosa,bulimia nervosa, substance abuse, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The sufferers of this disorder have an overwhelming desire to steal, so they can get a thrill by doing it. In some cases thekleptomaniac steal only specific objects. Usually, kleptomaniacs feel guilty after performing the act.

Detecting kleptomania is a very difficult task and in the majority of the cases the disease isunnoticed. Also in many of the cases people have preferences when performing the act; including specific places, objects or even environments. Some doctors say that the thrill felt during the steal, helpsto alleviate symptoms in persons who are clinically depressed.

Although psychiatrists consider kleptomania as a disease, this is not a legal excuse in front of an American or British court.Causes:

A clear cause to kleptomania is unknown, but some experts claim that it may have a genetic component and may be transmitted by close relatives. Also it is believed that kleptomania usuallycoexists with obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia nervosa, and clinical depression.


What doctors use to identify a case of kleptomania is the following book:
“Diagnostic andStatistical Manual of Mental Disorders”

This book is the primary reference for mental health professionals in USA. The last edition of the book contains five diagnostic criteria for kleptomania:
•Repeated theft of objects that are unnecessary for either personal use or monetary value.
• Increasing tension immediately before the theft.
• Pleasure or relief upon committing the theft.
• The...
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