Topics: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Mental disorder, Psychiatry Pages: 4 (1392 words) Published: November 20, 2011
Klepto, Kleptomaniac, Kleptomania, some are just punned names, typically used to describe anyone who steals, but Kleptomania is more than just stealing and is recognized as an Impulse Control Disorder. Kleptomania [Gr.,=craze for stealing], irresistible compulsion to steal, motivated by neurotic impulse rather than material need. No specific cause is known. The condition is considered generally as the result of some underlying emotional disturbance rather than as a form of neurosis in itself. Legally kleptomania is not classified as insanity, and individuals are held responsible except when complete lack of control over their actions can be definitely established. (Columbia Encyclopedia, 2008)

Kleptomania was first recognized by the American Psychiatric Disorder in the DSM – II in 1968 and has been included in each subsequent DSM edition. (Hales, Yudofsky, 2003) More than 1.2 million people in the United States are thought to suffer from kleptomania. (Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week, 2004) To understand what this disorder is, is to understand that it is not merely stealing for the gain of material possessions but rather a strong impulse, and compulsion to steal. Often someone with kleptomania steals things with no monetary value, typically things that would have been easily afforded, or aren’t even needed. It has been determined to be an impulse control disorder as determined by the American Psychiatric Association. Even though shoplifting and stealing are fairly common things especially amongst youth, kleptomania has only been diagnosed among less than 1 percent of people caught shoplifting. It’s typical of people suffering from this disorder that even though they recognize what they are doing is bad behaviour or just wrong, they simply can’t resist the urge and impulse to carry out the action. Even though diagnosed with a disorder such as kleptomania, it is still not considered to be grounds for defence with in the legal system.

Even though Kleptomania...
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