kleptomania

Kleptomania is recognized as a very rare
mental disorder that is classified under the impulse disorder (Mayo Clinic, ,2017).The most interesting thing relating to this condition
is that unlike the ordinary theft, people with this condition do not get benefits
from whatever they steal. They steal just because of an inner pressure caused
by an impulse control disorder. (Save east ramapo schools, n.d).Kleptomania seems to
be more prevalent among those with psychiatric disorders. The patients with
kleptomania had significantly higher levels of impulsivity and they were also
found to have high rates of substance abuse and mood disorders (Kleptomania and Potential Exacerbating
Factors: A Review and Case Report, 2017). Generally, people
who suffer from kleptomania have underlying depression, mood disorder and the
presence of physical void in their life. They seemed to be lonely and have
difficult time to communicate with people.
Megan Fox , Farah Fawcett, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Winona Ryder are
among the celebrities who suffers from kleptomania. Megan Fox, a very famous
and outstanding actress has been caught several times for shoplifting. She has
been barred for life from entering Walmart for shoplifting a lip-gloss worth
$7. (5 Celebs Who Suffered From Kleptomania –
Wade Weesner – Medium, 2016) It is nothing but kleptomania
that Megan Fox suffered from. Kleptomaniac patient often experiences a lot of
problems in their daily life which make their life miserable.
Serious problems faced by kleptomaniac patient include the presence of physical
void, hands trembling, anxiety, mood disorder and feeling socially outcast and
all these can be prevented through selfcare,
support from family members, psychotherapy and medication.

 

Kleptomaniac patients should learn to educate themselves in order to
control or prevent themselves from involving in unwanted behavior or act. It is
important to learn about kleptomania so that they can better understand risk
factors, treatments and triggering events. Identifying moments, situations,
thoughts or feelings that may trigger urges to steal so you can take steps to
manage or prevent them from happening them.  By getting a clear view about the risk factors
in kleptomania, it will be easier to cope with the disease itself. For example,
let’s take the case of Megan Fox who has been caught in 2008 for the act of shoplifting
a $7 lip gloss in a Walmart Store. Believe it or not, that incident had made
Megan Fox to be banned from Walmart for her entire life. Well the funny part
was the item was so cheap that she can afford to buy it but then she chooses to
steal it instead. “Maybe she is a kleptomaniac, maybe it just a moment of
thrill. Nevertheless, it was enough for her to make the kleptomaniac list” (Famous
Kleptomaniacs, 2015). To be caught in a public place for shoplifting
is a big shame. Thus, by knowing the consequences of stealing or shoplifting, will
make kleptomaniac person control their urge as they will be terrified of the
results. In addition to that, kleptomaniacs can find healthy outlets such as pottery,
ceramics (art), exercise, therapy, support groups, dance, meditation and yoga. Explore
as many healthy ways to divert urges to steal or shoplift through exercise and
recreational activities and others. Learning relaxation and stress management
technique like meditation, yoga or tai chi may help to reduce the symptoms and
causes of kleptomania such as hands trembling, anxiety and mood disorder. A few
minutes of practice per day can help ease anxiety. “Research suggests that
daily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more
resilient to stress,” (Hartman, n.d.). Always remember to
stay focused on your goal. Setting goals gives long-term vision and short-term
motivation. It focuses on learning and development of knowledge, and helps
organize time and resources so that you can achieve the very most of your life
to control the addiction of kleptomania. Recovery from kleptomania can take
time. Always remember that slow and steady wins the race. Keep in mind your
recovery goals and do your best to restore relationships with spouse and family
members, financial and legal problems.

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When struggling with kleptomania, it can be shameful to
admit that there is a problem. This will cause the kleptomaniac patient to
always lock themselves up in the room. They will always feel scared to meet
people outside there. In addition, this mental disorder can make someone to be abandoned
by the society. So as a responsible family member, we need to help them to
overcome from this serious issue. We need to understand that, support from family members can help
kleptomaniac patient to reduce their depression and to make them feel more
confident when communicating with other people. In addition, good motivation
and advice from family members can help them to face the embarrassing situation
which occurs if they are caught stealing. The acts
of stealing were typically due to failure to resist the tension and strong urge
to take the items without paying, and feeling satisfied after taking them which
is basically known as kleptomania. The items were typically of no use to them. Furthermore,
we need to understand the details of the treatment plan and actively support
its success if our loved one is being treated for kleptomania. Attending a
kleptomania therapy section will help kleptomaniac patient to release their
tension. It is advisable for us to attend
kleptomania therapy section with our loved ones (those struggling from
kleptomania), so that they feel comfortable to share their feelings.We also can
have a consultation with the therapist. This ensures us to easily understand
the characteristics of our loved one who is affected by kleptomania. Recovering
from an impulse control disorder is really challenging and consumes a lot of
time. Other than that, we should join exercise section and meditation section with
them. Most of the kleptomaniac patient are scared to make an appointment with
the doctor because of the low confident that they have. So, as a responsible
partner or family member we should spend our own time to make an appointment
with the doctor. In addition, accompanying them to see the doctor would help
them to ask questions or share information with the mental health professional.

There are variety of therapies that have been used to
treat this disorder. Counselling or therapy in a group or one-to-one session
can be very helpful. By communicating with kleptomaniac patient,
psychotherapist can come up with plenty of idea on how to cure the disorder as
they have better view to diagnose the specific patient. It is usually aimed at
dealing with underlying psychological problems that may be contributing to
kleptomania. It may also include behavior therapy,
cognitive behavioral therapy and reality therapy.
Behavioral therapy also known as behavior
modification, is a therapeutic approach where a person’s behavior and reactions
are influenced by positive and negative thoughts. Simple examples of positive and
negative thoughts are by providing compliments or encouragement, and stopping
or avoiding several behavior’s. Whereas, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy or better
known as systemic desensitization is a form of psychotherapy that emphasizes
the important role of thinking in how we feel and what we do  (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, n.d.). Reality Therapy is based on a concept called Choice
Theory (originally called Control Theory). Another therapy that caught many
psychotherapist attentions was the reality therapy which is a particular
approach in psychotherapy and counseling. Reality therapy was developed by
William Glasser, a psychiatrist. Glasser believes that people who are behaving
in inappropriate ways do not need help to find a defense for their behavior.
Instead, they need help to acknowledge their behavior as being inappropriate and
then to learn how to act in a more logical and productive manner. Reality
therapy attempts to help people control the world around them more effectively
so that they are better able to satisfy their needs (Reality
Therapy, n.d.).
Another therapy that helps to treat this disorder is the covert sensitization, a type of aversion therapy, also
known by the name verbal aversion therapy. This perspective is normally used on
patients with addiction, self-destructive behaviors, desires, and habits such
as kleptomania. In simple words, Covert sensitization is a form of
behavior therapy in which an undesirable behavior is paired with an unpleasant
image in order to eliminate that behavior (Covert
sensitization, n.d.). For example, the patient is taught how to relax as relaxing is an important progenitor
to generating intense imagery. The patient is then made to imagine approaching
the situation where the undesirable behavior occurs (for example, going to shop
for shoplifting). If the patient unable
to imagine the scene, the image can be presented orally by the therapist. As
the patient imagines getting closer to the situation (shop), he or she is asked
to clearly imagine an unpleasant consequence (such as a scene where
he/she get caught by police during shoplifting and was surrounded by a large
crowd taking video or pictures) just before
indulging in the undesirable behavior (shoplifting). The scene must be imagined
deeply so that a sense of physiological discomfort or high level of anxiety is
experienced. Then the patient imagines leaving the situation and experiencing
considerable relief. The patient learns to associate unpleasant sensations (get
caught by police) with the undesirable behavior, leading to decreased desire
and avoidance of the situation in the future.

People with kleptomania often have other type of nerve impulse disorders
such as anxiety disorder, personality disorder and eating disorder such as anorexia
nervosa and bulimia nervosa.  Kleptomania
is due to the problem in several neurotransmitter pathways in the brain. Problem
in neurotransmitter pathways in the brain such as serotonin, dopamine, and
opioid systems will lead to kleptomania. (502 Bad Gateway, 2017). There are few scientific causes of
kleptomania. Firstly, is due to the problem with a naturally occurring brain
chemical (neurotransmitter) called serotonin. A very low level of this
hormone in our body will induce impulsive disorders which finally lead to
kleptomania. Next cause is due to the addictive
disorders. Stealing will increase the release of dopamine. High
level of dopamine will cause our brain to be active and alert all the time. This
is why kleptomaniac patient cannot resist themselves from stealing. In order,
to avoid all these problems, we need to take proper medication as prescribed by
the doctor. It is important for us to understand that consuming medicines
without doctor’s prescription will cause damage to the system. Regular follow
up with the doctor will make kleptomaniac patient to feel more comfortable
since there is someone who is willing to listen to their problems. This also
ensures them to take all their medicines on time because they scared if they do
not do so then their doctor will scold them. People with kleptomania will be
given Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) by their doctor because
they play a major role in balancing serotonin levels in the brain. High level
of serotonin will make one to calm down and reduce their feeling when there is
an urge to steal.

On the whole it can be concluded that kleptomania is an
impulsive control disorder which makes a kleptomaniac person to have the sense
or urge to steal items which is considered to be inappropriate behavior. This
might lead to creating many risk situation and problems in the life of
kleptomaniac person.  Having an impulsive
control disorder makes kleptomaniac person to have hardship in resisting the
temptation or drive. By accomplishing those inappropriate behavior or act, most
of them have the probability or chances to get caught and live in shades of
embarrassment and dismay. For instance, by taking the life story of Lindsay
Lohan that made headlines after being arrested for reportedly stealing a
necklace from a jewelry store, which landed her in jail (21
Celebrities Who Have Been Caught Shoplifting, n.d.) . It is better to
seek for medical attention and cure this disorder as soon as they find it out.
This will help them to control the negative consequences and live a better
upstanding life.

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