A Journalist Reveals has been looking for answers to a few questions about Kleptomania and how Kleptomania can be treated by counseling. Recently, we found Jai Bapat, Psychologist cum RECBT and AAT Therapist and she agreed to share her inputs on the topic. So without much ado, let’s go to the interview.
What is kleptomania?
Kleptomania is the recurrent failure to resist impulses to steal items even though the items are not needed for personal use or have any monetary value. The individual experiences a rising subjective sense of tension before the theft and feels pleasure and gratification while committing the theft. The objects are stolen though they are of no use to the individual.
What other types of stealing are apparent in humans?
Petty theft and grand theft – robbery, armed robbery, fraud, shoplifting and receiving stolen property.
How can you distinguish it with other types of stealing?
Ordinary theft and kleptomania are 2 different things. Ordinary theft is either planned or spontaneous and is deliberately motivated by the usefulness of the object or its monetary worth, whereas in kleptomania, the patient fails to resist the urge to steal items.
Are there any social issues that might lead to kleptomania?
No, but a few researchers say that individuals with kleptomania fall on the Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum.
How can you identify kleptomania?
- Repeatedly getting tempted to steal objects that are not required for personal use or for their monetary value.
- Increase in tension immediately before committing the theft.
- Stealing is not committed to express anger or vengeance and is not in response to a delusion or a hallucination.
- Stealing is not accounted for by conduct disorder, manic episode or antisocial personality disorder.
What are the different treatments available for the same?
Medications and Psychotherapy are available for the same. Different treatment modalities such as Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, systematic desensitization, etc. can be used.
Does counseling work?
Yes. Counseling works.