Kleptomania describes an impulsive need to steal seemingly worthless or unneeded objects. The DSM-IV criteria list the diagnostic features of the disorder. Kleptomania has been classified as a mono-mania or as an impulse control disorder.


Diagnostic Criteria:

(1) failure in control

(2) increasing tension prior to stealing

(3) feeling of relief upon completion.


Exclusion criteria:

(1) not really needed and/or has enough money to buy it

(2) not done because of anger or vengeance.

(3) delusions or hallucinations absent

(4) no better explanation


Additional features:

(1) The patient often recognizes that stealing is wrong and feels remorse for his or her acts.

(2) The patient may donate the goods to charity, destroy the item, throw it away, or return it to the store from which it was stolen.

(3) The patient may develop rules to try and control the behavior.

(4) The stealing may be done abruptly, without premeditation or without thought given to the risk of being apprehended.

(5) The behavior is repetitive and has features of a compulsive disorder.

(6) The patient often is secretive about the disorder.


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