People who suffer from kleptomania have a compulsive and obsessive urge to steal which they are not able to stop of their own free will. Individuals may shoplift in order to steal for their own financial benefit or personal use. Individuals who suffer with kleptomania have no reason to steal and they steal compulsively. Individuals with kleptomania experience strong desires to steal things which are not even of any use to them. A symptom of kleptomania is that the individual feels anxious and irritable until they have given in the the urge to steal as well as feeling pleasure from the act of stealing.
Pleasure experienced whilst stealing pass quickly and are replaced with guilt, shame and regret. If left untreated Kleptomania can disrupt an individuals life and it is a mental health disorder which can be addressed during therapy with a qualified counsellor in order to assist with handling compulsive urges and an addition to stealing and with making positive life changes.
Causes of Kleptomania
Kleptomania can form as an addiction form from the mental “euphoria” related to the activity of stealing. This mental “high” causes a strong urge to repeat the activity and experience the same feeling again. In this situation the desire to repeat an activity can become a habit. When a habit forms it can become incredibly hard to stop which can leads to addiction.
Another aspect of having an addiction is that stopping or quitting the habit can cause withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms can be physically and mentally unpleasant which makes continuing the habit and giving in to your craving seem easier.
How Kleptomania affect you
Attempting to manage an addiction can seriously damage your work life and relationships. With Kleptomania the addiction to stealing may have serious psychological effects on the person as well as putting them at risk of gaining a criminal record. Often an addict uses their addiction as a shield against difficult issues or emotions. Various factors can trigger addictions such as emotional or professional pressure, unemployment and poverty.