Kleptomania is recognized as a very raremental disorder that is classified under the impulse disorder (Mayo Clinic, ,2017).The most interesting thing relating to this conditionis that unlike the ordinary theft, people with this condition do not get benefitsfrom whatever they steal. They steal just because of an inner pressure causedby an impulse control disorder. (Save east ramapo schools, n.d).
Kleptomania seems tobe more prevalent among those with psychiatric disorders. The patients withkleptomania had significantly higher levels of impulsivity and they were alsofound to have high rates of substance abuse and mood disorders (Kleptomania and Potential Exacerbating Factors: A Review and Case Report, 2017). Generally, peoplewho suffer from kleptomania have underlying depression, mood disorder and thepresence of physical void in their life.
They seemed to be lonely and havedifficult time to communicate with people.Megan Fox , Farah Fawcett, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Winona Ryder areamong the celebrities who suffers from kleptomania. Megan Fox, a very famousand outstanding actress has been caught several times for shoplifting. She hasbeen 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 kleptomaniathat Megan Fox suffered from. Kleptomaniac patient often experiences a lot ofproblems in their daily life which make their life miserable.
Serious problems faced by kleptomaniac patient include the presence of physicalvoid, hands trembling, anxiety, mood disorder and feeling socially outcast andall these can be prevented through selfcare,support from family members, psychotherapy and medication. Kleptomaniac patients should learn to educate themselves in order tocontrol or prevent themselves from involving in unwanted behavior or act. It isimportant to learn about kleptomania so that they can better understand riskfactors, treatments and triggering events. Identifying moments, situations,thoughts or feelings that may trigger urges to steal so you can take steps tomanage or prevent them from happening them. By getting a clear view about the risk factorsin 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 shopliftinga $7 lip gloss in a Walmart Store. Believe it or not, that incident had madeMegan Fox to be banned from Walmart for her entire life.
Well the funny partwas the item was so cheap that she can afford to buy it but then she chooses tosteal it instead. “Maybe she is a kleptomaniac, maybe it just a moment ofthrill. Nevertheless, it was enough for her to make the kleptomaniac list” (Famous Kleptomaniacs, 2015). To be caught in a public place for shopliftingis a big shame. Thus, by knowing the consequences of stealing or shoplifting, willmake kleptomaniac person control their urge as they will be terrified of theresults. In addition to that, kleptomaniacs can find healthy outlets such as pottery,ceramics (art), exercise, therapy, support groups, dance, meditation and yoga.
Exploreas many healthy ways to divert urges to steal or shoplift through exercise andrecreational activities and others. Learning relaxation and stress managementtechnique like meditation, yoga or tai chi may help to reduce the symptoms andcauses of kleptomania such as hands trembling, anxiety and mood disorder. A fewminutes of practice per day can help ease anxiety.
“Research suggests thatdaily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you moreresilient to stress,” (Hartman, n.d.). Always remember tostay focused on your goal. Setting goals gives long-term vision and short-termmotivation. It focuses on learning and development of knowledge, and helpsorganize time and resources so that you can achieve the very most of your lifeto control the addiction of kleptomania.
Recovery from kleptomania can taketime. Always remember that slow and steady wins the race. Keep in mind yourrecovery goals and do your best to restore relationships with spouse and familymembers, financial and legal problems.When struggling with kleptomania, it can be shameful toadmit that there is a problem. This will cause the kleptomaniac patient toalways lock themselves up in the room. They will always feel scared to meetpeople outside there.
In addition, this mental disorder can make someone to be abandonedby the society. So as a responsible family member, we need to help them toovercome from this serious issue. We need to understand that, support from family members can helpkleptomaniac patient to reduce their depression and to make them feel moreconfident when communicating with other people. In addition, good motivationand advice from family members can help them to face the embarrassing situationwhich occurs if they are caught stealing.
The actsof stealing were typically due to failure to resist the tension and strong urgeto take the items without paying, and feeling satisfied after taking them whichis 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 supportits success if our loved one is being treated for kleptomania. Attending akleptomania therapy section will help kleptomaniac patient to release theirtension. It is advisable for us to attendkleptomania therapy section with our loved ones (those struggling fromkleptomania), so that they feel comfortable to share their feelings.We also canhave a consultation with the therapist. This ensures us to easily understandthe characteristics of our loved one who is affected by kleptomania.
Recoveringfrom an impulse control disorder is really challenging and consumes a lot oftime. Other than that, we should join exercise section and meditation section withthem. Most of the kleptomaniac patient are scared to make an appointment withthe doctor because of the low confident that they have. So, as a responsiblepartner or family member we should spend our own time to make an appointmentwith the doctor. In addition, accompanying them to see the doctor would helpthem to ask questions or share information with the mental health professional.
There are variety of therapies that have been used totreat this disorder. Counselling or therapy in a group or one-to-one sessioncan be very helpful. By communicating with kleptomaniac patient,psychotherapist can come up with plenty of idea on how to cure the disorder asthey have better view to diagnose the specific patient. It is usually aimed atdealing with underlying psychological problems that may be contributing tokleptomania. It may also include behavior therapy,cognitive behavioral therapy and reality therapy.Behavioral therapy also known as behaviormodification, is a therapeutic approach where a person’s behavior and reactionsare influenced by positive and negative thoughts. Simple examples of positive andnegative thoughts are by providing compliments or encouragement, and stoppingor avoiding several behavior’s.
Whereas, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy or betterknown as systemic desensitization is a form of psychotherapy that emphasizesthe 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 ChoiceTheory (originally called Control Theory). Another therapy that caught manypsychotherapist attentions was the reality therapy which is a particularapproach in psychotherapy and counseling. Reality therapy was developed byWilliam Glasser, a psychiatrist. Glasser believes that people who are behavingin inappropriate ways do not need help to find a defense for their behavior.
Instead, they need help to acknowledge their behavior as being inappropriate andthen to learn how to act in a more logical and productive manner. Realitytherapy attempts to help people control the world around them more effectivelyso 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, alsoknown by the name verbal aversion therapy.
This perspective is normally used onpatients with addiction, self-destructive behaviors, desires, and habits suchas kleptomania. In simple words, Covert sensitization is a form ofbehavior therapy in which an undesirable behavior is paired with an unpleasantimage in order to eliminate that behavior (Covert sensitization, n.d.
). For example, the patient is taught how to relax as relaxing is an important progenitorto generating intense imagery. The patient is then made to imagine approachingthe situation where the undesirable behavior occurs (for example, going to shopfor shoplifting).Through this therapy, the patient learns to associateunpleasant 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 disorderssuch as anxiety disorder, personality disorder and eating disorder such as anorexianervosa and bulimia nervosa.
Kleptomaniais due to the problem in several neurotransmitter pathways in the brain. Problemin neurotransmitter pathways in the brain such as serotonin, dopamine, andopioid systems will lead to kleptomania. (502 Bad Gateway, 2017).
There are few scientific causes ofkleptomania. Firstly, is due to the problem with a naturally occurring brainchemical (neurotransmitter) called serotonin. A very low level of thishormone in our body will induce impulsive disorders which finally lead tokleptomania. Next cause is due to the addictivedisorders.
Stealing will increase the release of dopamine. Highlevel of dopamine will cause our brain to be active and alert all the time. Thisis why kleptomaniac patient cannot resist themselves from stealing. In order,to avoid all these problems, we need to take proper medication as prescribed bythe doctor. It is important for us to understand that consuming medicineswithout doctor’s prescription will cause damage to the system.
Regular followup with the doctor will make kleptomaniac patient to feel more comfortablesince there is someone who is willing to listen to their problems. This alsoensures them to take all their medicines on time because they scared if they donot do so then their doctor will scold them. People with kleptomania will begiven Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) by their doctor becausethey play a major role in balancing serotonin levels in the brain. High levelof serotonin will make one to calm down and reduce their feeling when there isan urge to steal.On the whole it can be concluded that kleptomania is animpulsive control disorder which makes a kleptomaniac person to have the senseor urge to steal items which is considered to be inappropriate behavior.
Thismight lead to creating many risk situation and problems in the life ofkleptomaniac person. Having an impulsivecontrol disorder makes kleptomaniac person to have hardship in resisting thetemptation or drive. By accomplishing those inappropriate behavior or act, mostof them have the probability or chances to get caught and live in shades ofembarrassment and dismay. For instance, by taking the life story of LindsayLohan that made headlines after being arrested for reportedly stealing anecklace from a jewelry store, which landed her in jail (21 Celebrities Who Have Been Caught Shoplifting, n.
d.) . It is better toseek 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 betterupstanding life.
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