Kleptomania   is the recurrent failure to resist urges to steal items that you generally don’t really need and that usually have little value.


  • Inability to resist powerful urges to steal items
  • Feeling increased tension, anxiety or arousal leading up to the theft
  • Feeling pleasure, relief or gratification while stealing
  • Feeling terrible guilt, remorse, self-loathing, shame or fear of arrest after the theft
  • Return of the urges and a repetition of the kleptomania cycle


  • Problems related  to serotonin
  • Related to addictive disorders, and stealing may cause the release of dopamine
  • Linked to the brain’s opioid system

Risk factors

  • Family history
  • Being female
  • Having another mental illness
  • Head trauma or brain injuries

Diagnostic Tests

  • physical evaluation
  • psychological evaluation


  • Medications (antidepressants)
  • Psychotherapy:
  • Covert sensitization
  • Systematic desensitization
  • Avoiding relapses
  • Coping and support
  • Aversion therapy
  • Stick to your treatment plan
  • Discover what drives you
  • Get treatment for substance abuse or other mental health problems

Lifestyle management

  • Find healthy outlets
  • Learn relaxation and stress management
  • Stay focused on your goal
  • Support for loved ones
  • Educate yourself