Psychology,  Public Reads



Kleptomania (ke-lep-toh-ma-ni-ahh) refers to a disorder that has the urge to steal. People with kleptomania enjoy the process of stealing because it gives them the feeling of excitement and tension. You might think, “These people are just seeking for attention!” or even “They are doing something inconsiderate!” No, they are not seeking for your attention. They are probably not aware of their disorder as such, they do not seek for help. It was also revealed that people who are aware of this disorder does not seek for help due to fear of being judged. 

You might be wondering that the professionals are creating excuses for people who likes shoplifting. However, the truth is that there are differences between an individual with kleptomania and an individual that does shoplifting.


i. Enjoys the process

ii. Does not have a plan

iii. Impulsive urge


i. Enjoys the outcome

ii. Has a plan

iii. Financially incapable

What might be the reason of stealing?

  1. Major stress that caused the individual to steal.

2. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps human to regulate their emotion and behaviour. When an individual has low level of serotonin, he or she also experience the difficulty in controlling their behaviour.

3. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that is released when an individual feels good. When an individual feels the pleasure and excitement of stealing, he or she keeps hunting for the feeling over and over again.

Kleptomania is an unbreakable cycle.

  2. The irresistible urge to steal and proceed to steal.
  3. Hide the item or throw away.
  4. However, “I feel so guilty for stealing that!”
  5. Feeling of guilt and shame increased the level of stress.

What is the possible treatment for kleptomania?

  • One possible treatment is to attend counselling sessions. Counselling sessions allow the individual to share in a safe space about his or her emotions and behaviour. A counsellor practices talk therapy as well as providing some interventions in assisting the individual to reduce the action.
  • Research shows that exercises such as yoga and meditation are beneficial methods for relaxation thus, assisting individuals who experiences the strong urge to relax and calm themselves down.

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