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What is Kleptomania?

Meaning of Kleptomania

Imagine: you are walking through your favorite store. You browse through the video games and then turn the corner. There they are. At the end of the hall. Glowing in fluorescent light. The headphones your parents didn’t buy you.

You understand that they are expensive, but you just want these headphones. Looking around you realize that you are alone in the hallway . Nobody is looking. No one would see if you took your headphones with you. But that would be stealing! You know that’s wrong. What will you do?

Most people know that stealing is wrong . No matter how much you want something, it is unfair to take it without paying for it. And, of course, there are legal consequences for stealing.

For all of these reasons, most people avoid stealing, even when it’s something they really want. But sometimes people can’t control their urge to steal .

If a person cannot help but steal , they may have kleptomania. This is a psychological disorder in which people cannot avoid the urge to steal.

People with this condition often feel guilty after taking something that wasn’t theirs. They don’t intend to steal, they just can’t stop doing it.

Many people imagine that people with kleptomania steal expensive objects. After all, sparkling diamonds or new televisions can seem like the most tempting items.

However, the truth is just the opposite. Very often, people with kleptomania take small things of little value.

In many cases, they could have purchased the stolen item . Other times, they take small things from others who might not immediately miss them.

Kleptomaniac Because They Steal

So why do they steal? Many find this condition difficult to understand. But it’s important to remember that for people with kleptomania , it’s not about wanting to steal. It’s about not being able to stop the urge to grab things.

How common is kleptomania? It is very rare. Only about 0.3 to 0.6 percent of people have this condition. It is more common among women than among men.

There is no clear cause of kleptomania . But experts say it often overlaps with other impulse control disorders, such as substance abuse.

Still, treatment can help people with kleptomania control their impulses. This often includes therapy and medicine. However, many people with kleptomania have difficulty seeking treatment .

They often feel too guilty about their actions to talk about them. Others fear arrest for stealing if they admit their problem.

Of course, not everyone who steals has kleptomania. Some people plan robberies in advance and steal things that are very valuable. They probably do not have this disorder.

But if a person can’t resist the urge to steal , kleptomania could be the root of the problem.

Have you ever been tempted to take something that wasn’t yours?

Most people have at some point in their lives. It is important to remember that kleptomania is not a moral failing, it is a psychiatric condition that can be treated. If you know someone who is showing symptoms of this disorder, encourage them to talk to a trusted adult.

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