Kleptomania is a condition that drives people to steal items solely for the sake of stealing them. In most cases, a person with kleptomania will steal things that they could otherwise afford or do not need. There are many incorrect and harmful thoughts about kleptomania, many of which come from assumptions about individuals with the condition. Many studies investigate the causes of kleptomania and have uncovered some surprising information.


1. Symptoms

A few symptoms signify that theft might be the result of kleptomania. The primary symptom of the condition is an irresistible urge to steal something. Many people with kleptomania describe a sense of tension or excitement when they feel the impulse. Once they act on the impulse to steal, they typically feel relief or satisfaction. Shortly after the theft, many people with kleptomania have feelings of guilt or shame. The impulse to steal is almost always spontaneous.

kleptomania shoplifting symptoms Михаил Руденко / Getty Images

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