Could you have kleptomania?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

Shoplifting and theft are serious crimes that could land you in jail. They may also cost you money and cause extreme embarrassment in your personal life. There is even the potential that if you get caught that you could face trouble at work. This is disheartening, especially if you do not even want to steal but have a condition that makes you do it. 

The Mayo Clinic explains that kleptomania is an impulse control disorder that leads you to have the inability to resist the urge to steal. One of the common characteristics of people with this disorder is that they steal items they do not need or that they could easily buy for themselves. The act of stealing is not about getting the item. It is about the rush the person feels when they steal. 


There is no cure for this disorder, but you can go through treatment to help you learn to overcome the impulses. However, a common issue with kleptomania is not wanting to tell anyone about it or to seek help for it. The embarrassment is usually what will stop you from getting help, but you should know this is a disorder that you cannot help. The only way to stop it and to avoid potential complications, such as criminal charges, is to get professional help. 


If you are not sure that you have kleptomania, then consider the common symptoms, such as a powerful urge to steal. It is common to feel tense or anxious until you steal and then to feel happy and relieved afterward. You may try to stop yourself from stealing and not understand why you feel compelled to do it.