Mental Health Disorders

What is kleptomania?
Answered by Discovery Fit & Health
  • Discovery Fit & Health

    Discovery Fit & Health

  1. Kleptomania is a psychological disorder that is classified as an impulse control disorder, similar to pyromania and pathological gambling. A kleptomaniac shoplifts not for resale or monetary gain or even personal use, but to satisfy a compulsive urge. Retailers in the United States lose nearly $10 million every year to shoplifting, only a small part of which can be attributed to professional thieves [source: Grant].

    First documented in the early 1800s, psychiatrists are still not sure if kleptomania is a type of mental illness unto itself or a manifestation of another disorder, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and personality and mood disorders. It is estimated that approximately 5 percent to 10 percent of mentally ill patients are kleptomaniacs [source: Grant].

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