March 17, 2011

What is Kleptomania & Treatments for Children

Posted in Category : General Health

In order to answer the question of what is kleptomania one needs to understand that kleptomania is a psychological disorder wherein the individual experiences a strong impulse to steal without actually having any monetary gain or personal gain in mind. One of the chief kleptomania symptoms in adults as well as in children is the inability to resist the urge to steal an object from somebody’s house or a store or even a mall. Kleptomania is one of the chief impulse control disorders in children wherein they don’t steal because they need that particular object but only because of the strong urge they experience to steal. In such cases the motives of the child or the adult are not premeditated.

Kleptomania in children cannot be addressed by speaking to them on issues of morality because they don’t actually intend on stealing and many a times when confronted are also dumbstruck or surprised themselves. Instead one should treat them sympathetically because they suffer from a mental disorder they do not have any control over. Some of the causes of kleptomania are anxiety, feeling of depression, alcohol or drug abuse, eating disorders such as anemia or bulimia or even other impulse control disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder. In order to decide on the appropriate treatment for kleptomania in adults one needs to understand the mindset of a kleptomaniac when they steal.

Usually when a person suffering from kleptomaniac steals an object then they tend to experience a feeling of extreme pleasure which tends to satisfy as well as relieve them. The objects stolen by the person suffering from kleptomania aren’t usually required by them but they are just picked up randomly. In fact research has also shown that individuals suffering from kleptomania are otherwise perfectly sane and do not know that they are actually suffering from a medical disorder. Another one of the symptoms of kleptomania is that very often the goods that are stolen are not used and are simply kept away. Kleptomania symptoms in adults also include feeling a strong urge of stealing an object they don’t need, future urges to continue to steal, immense pleasure after successfully stealing an object as well as feeling guilty or ashamed after stealing an item. Treatments for kleptomania in adults does not aim at actually treating this medical condition but is more targeted at suppressing the urge to steal.

In such cases, the treatment for kleptomania may include mood stabilizers which help the mood of the individual to remain stable so as to ensure that the person does not deviate from a normal mind frame thereby refraining from the urge to steal. Treatments for kleptomania also include anti seizure medications as well as antidepressants which are given only on the specific prescriptions of the doctor. Another treatment for kleptomania in adults is the intake of addiction medication which is known to be effective against kleptomania as its tends to numb the part of the brain that get the impulse to feel satisfaction or even pleasure thereby stunting or inhibiting the tendency to steal. In some cases of people suffering from kleptomania one may even find that the stealing may happen in episodes and may not be as frequent whereas in other cases the episodes of stealing may also have long periods of remission between them. Therapy is an important part of the treatments for kleptomania in both adults as well as in children wherein the individual is urged to practice self control strategies so as to fight the urge to steal whereas other individuals may only go shopping if they are accompanied by someone.