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4 Ways To Deal With Kleptomania!

Dr. Aneesh Baweja 88% (10 ratings)
MD - Psychiatry, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Psychiatrist, Delhi  •  33 years experience
4 Ways To Deal With Kleptomania!

Kleptomania is a form of psychiatric disorder. It is a difficult disorder, and an affected person experiences a lot of shame, remorse, stress or feels guilt, which are associated with stealing. It is categorized as an impulse control disorder which affects the behavior of a patient. Kleptomania may be associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder. The patient develops an impulse to steal and cannot control this impulse and later feels guilty.

Here are several tips which you can use in order to deal with kleptomania.

  1. Understanding the situation: It must be clearly understood that a kleptomaniac person does not steal with the intention of becoming rich. It is done only for mental satisfaction and to pacify the urge of stealing that comes from within to an affected person. The patient usually does not care about the object he steals, but he only cares about the act of stealing. Usually, kleptomaniac patients steal insignificant things. When an affected patient becomes extremely nervous or fearful, they tend to steal an object. After the act, they feel much better and relieved. Later, a feeling of guilt arises in the person about his stealing act.
  2. Treat the affected person gently: A kleptomaniac person requires love, care and great understanding from his/her loved ones or family members in order to recover. The problem and the situation must be recognized and perceived carefully. A person close to the patient should deal with him gently and try to make him understand. In many situations, a kleptomaniac may be aware of his actions but does not confess to avoid harassment.
  3. The situation is different from stealing: It must be kept in mind that the actions of a kleptomaniac cannot be exactly termed as stealing. Stealing is an organized activity done by conscious individuals in order to gain something material or money related. Kleptomania is an act of impulse which a patient conducts for psychological satisfaction. The patients are fully aware that stealing is not the right thing, but yet they cannot control their impulse to steal.
  4. Treatment procedures: Once a kleptomaniac person accepts that they are suffering from a disorder, professional help must be taken. Cognitive Behavior Therapy is the primary treatment for kleptomania. This includes aversion therapy where a distraction is created when a person develops the impulse to steal an object. Systematic desensitization is another process where a patient is made to imagine a scenario to get over the urge of stealing. Covert desensitization makes a patient imagine negative impacts of the stealing act such as arrest or harassment.

The social life of a kleptomaniac becomes very difficult and both the patient, and his family are subjected to a lot of trouble and harassment. Necessary measures must be taken for kleptomania. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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