Our text describes a number of disorders with an irresistible impulse-usually one that will ultimately be harmful to the person affected. However, DSM-IV-TR includes fives additional impulse-control disorders (Called impulse –control disorders not elsewhere classified) that are not included under other categories…intermittent explosive disorder, pyromania, pathological gambling, trichotillomania, and kleptomania.
Kleptomania (impulsive stealing)
Kleptomania is a strong desire to steal. Often a kleptomaniac person steals things he could have bought easily or things that are not at all expensive. The person steals just for the tension or the kick. Kleptomania can be the result of emotional shortcomings during the youth.
The DSM IV says about Kleptomania:
DSM-IV 312.32 KleptomaniaDiagnostic Features
The DSM-IV states that the essential feature of Kleptomania is the recurrent failure to resist impulses to steal items even though the items are not needed for personal use or for their monetary value
1. (Criterion A). The individual experiences a rising subjective sense of tension before the theft
2. (Criterion b) and feels pleasure, gratification, or relief when committing the theft
3. (Criterion C).The stealing is not committed to express anger or vengeance, is not done in response to a delusion or hallucination
4. (Criterion D), and is not better accounted for by Conduct Disorder, a Manic Episode, or Antisocial Personality Disorder
5. (Criterion E). The objects are stolen despite the fact that they are typically of little value to the individual, who could have afforded to pay for them and often gives them away or discards them.
Occasionally the individual may hoard the stolen objects or surreptitiously return them. Although individuals with this disorder will generally avoid stealing when immediate arrest is probable (e.g., in full view of a police officer), they usually do not preplan the thefts or fully take into account the chances of apprehension. The stealing is done without assistance from, or collaboration with, others.
Kleptomanics have an irresistible inclination to steal. Often they throw away the stolen goods. They are mostly interested in the kick of the stealing itself. Although psychiatrists consider kleptomania as a disease, this is not a legal excuse in front of an American or British court.
DSM-IV 312.32 Kleptomania Associated Features and Disorders
Individuals with Kleptomania experience the impulse to steal as ego-dystonic and are aware that the act is wrong and senseless. To be diagnosed, a person must have the typical pattern: recurrent tension leading to the behavior, leading to relief or pleasure after performing the behavior. The stealing is not accounted for by an external motive like hunger or financial deprivation or vengeance, or accounted for better by another disorder of which stealing is a part (for example, Antisocial Personality Disorder or a manic episode). Mood Disorders...