- Kleptomania symptoms
- Kleptomania reasons
- Treatment kleptomania
Kleptomania is an insuperable desire to steal objects which are not necessary to the patient at all and which usually matter a little. Kleptomania is a serious mental disorder which can cause great discomfort for the patient and his relatives in case of non-rendering of medical care.
Kleptomania is one of types of frustration of an inclination. At the same time the patient cannot resist a temptation to commit theft even if realizes high probability of its exposure.
Many people having kleptomania all life live with this frustration because they are afraid to address for psychiatric treatment. Though there is no specific treatment of kleptomania, therapy by means of drugs or psychotherapy can help to put an end to a cycle of compulsive theft.
Symptoms of kleptomania can include:
- a compulsive inclination to theft of the objects in fact not necessary to the patient;
- the increased tension before theft;
- content during theft;
- sense of guilt and shame after theft.
Unlike ordinary shoplifters, people with kleptomania do not pursue during theft of personal interests. They also do not commit theft because of feeling of revenge. They steal just because desire is so strong that it is not possible to resist to it. This aspiration forces them to feel awkwardly, to feel concern, tension or excitement. To calm these feelings, they steal.
During theft patients with kleptomania lighten also satisfaction. Then, however, they can feel huge sense of guilt, a remorse, disgust for themselves and fear of arrest. But the aspiration is returned, and the cycle of kleptomania is repeated.
Kleptomania episodes usually occur spontaneously, without planning. Most of people with kleptomania commit thefts in public places, for example, in shops and supermarkets. Some of them can commit theft from friends or acquaintances. Often the stolen things have no value for the person with kleptomania. The stolen things, as a rule, hide, are never used. The stolen things can be also offered, sent to other families or to friends, or are even secretly returned into place from which they were stolen.
If you cannot independently cope with uncontrollable thirst for theft, see a doctor. Many people who have kleptomania do not want to ask for medical care because they are afraid that they will be arrested or committed to prison. However the psychiatric service does not report about similar cases in law enforcement agencies. Receiving treatment can help to receive control over kleptomania.
If you suspect that the close friend or the family member has kleptomania, accurately bring up a question of this problem with darling. Keep in mind that kleptomania is mental a state, but not a lack of character therefore talk to darling without charges.
The reason of kleptomania is not known. There are several theories which assume that changes in a brain can be the cause of kleptomania. Kleptomania can be connected with problems with natural chemical substance (neurotransmitter) in a brain which is called serotonin. Serotonin helps to regulate mood and emotions. Low level of serotonin occurs at the people inclined to impulsive behavior.
Kleptomania can be also connected with release of other neurotransmitter – dopamine. The dopamine causes pleasant feelings, and some people aim to have this feeling again and again.
Other researches showed that kleptomania can develop after a brain injury. Additional researches are necessary better to understand all these possible reasons of kleptomania.
Kleptomania is considered a rarity. However, as many people with kleptomania never ask for medical care, or just get to prisons after theft commission, the reliable level of prevalence of kleptomania is not registered. It is considered that less than 5% of thieves are kleptomaniacs. Kleptomania often begins in teenage or at youthful age, but in rare instances it begins after 50 years.
Can include risk factors of development of kleptomania:
1. Family anamnesis. Existence at relatives of the first (blood) relationship of kleptomania or obsessivno-compulsive frustration can increase risk of kleptomania.
2. Female. About 2/3 people having kleptomania are women.
3. Existence of other mental disorder. People with kleptomania often have other mental diseases, such as bipolar disorder, alarming frustration, frustration of a feeding behavior, abuse of psychoactive agents or frustration of the personality.
4. Craniocereberal injuries. People who had head injuries have the increased risk to ache with kleptomania.
Despite fear, humiliation or confusion which the patient with kleptomania can feel the help of the psychiatrist is necessary. It is difficult to overcome kleptomania independently. Treatment of kleptomania usually includes drugs and psychotherapy, perhaps, together with groups of a self-care. Nevertheless, there is no standard treatment of kleptomania, and researchers still try to understand what can help better with treatment of this frustration. Perhaps, it is necessary to try several types of treatment of kleptomania to find what will work in a konkterny situation.
There is not a lot of scientific research, devoted to drug treatment of kleptomania. Nevertheless, some medicines can be useful. The choice of specific drug depends on the general situation and other frustration, such as depression or obsessivno-compulsive frustration. Also combinations of drugs are possible.
At kleptomania the following drugs are used:
1. Antidepressants. The Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) are usually used for treatment of kleptomania. Treat them fluoxetine (Prozac), пароксетин (paksit), флувоксамин and others.
2. Mood stabilizers. These drugs are intended for alignment of mood. One of the most widespread stabilizers of mood is lithium.
3. Anticonvulsant drugs. Though initially this group of drugs is intended for convulsive frustration, antikonvulsant showed advantages at certain mental disorders, including, kleptomania. Are most widely used топирамат (Топамакс) and valproic acid (Depakene, Stavzor).
4. The drugs used at drug addiction. Naltrexone (Revia, Vivitrol), known as the antagonist of opioid receptors, is capable to block the area of a brain responsible for pleasure at addiktivny behavior. It can reduce the motivation and joy connected with theft.
Cognitive behavioural therapy became choice psychotherapy for kleptomania. Generally, cognitive and behavioural therapy will help to define unhealthy, negative beliefs and behavior and to replace them on healthy, positive. Cognitive behavioural therapy can include these methods capable to help to overcome kleptomania. Treats such methods:
- the hidden sensitization in which represents itself, committing theft, and then all negative effects which can be in case of exposure;
- association of theft with unpleasant feelings (for example, breath holding);
- systematic desensitization at which relaxation methods practice;
- other types of therapy, such as psychodynamic therapy, family therapy or family consultation which can also be useful.