It is an old term, 1st used by “Marc & Esquirol” in 1838 to indicate a ‘stealing Madness.’

⭐The core characteristic is that objects are stolen despite the fact that they are typically of little value to the individual, who could have afforded to pay for them.

DSM-V Criteria

1. Recurrent failure to resist impulses to steal objects that are not needed for personal use or for their monetary value.

2. Increasing sense of tension immediately before committing the theft.

3. Pleasure, Gratification or relief at the time of committing the theft.

4. The stealing is not committed to express anger or revenge & is not in response to a delusion or a hallucination.

5. The stealing is not better accounted for by conduct disorder, a manic episode or anti-social Personality Disorder.

⭐Individuals with kleptomania experience the impulse to steal as ego-dystonic & are aware that the act is wrong & senseless.


Prevalance of kleptomania is unknown, though it is thought to be less than 5% of shoplifting.


1. Depression
2. Anxiety
3. Paranoid Personality Disorder
4. Schizoid Personality Disorder
5. Borderline Personality Disorder


Psychological Approach:

•Coginitive Behaviour Therapy
•Psychosocial Interventions.

Pharmacological Approach:

•Selective Serotonin Reuptake inhibitors
•Mood stabilizers
•Opioid antagonists.


  • New Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry(2nd edition).

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