The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo
Phone: 908-316-8671
Proudly Serving Union, Middlesex, and Monmouth County
Review Us

What is kleptomania?

The crime of shoplifting isn't always cut and dry. While many people steal for personal gain, others do so because of an uncontrollable impulse. This is known as kleptomania, which is a condition that can result in legal problems as well as emotional ones. The Mayo Clinic offers the following information on kleptomania and what can be done to control it. 

Kleptomania falls into the category of impulse-control disorders, which also includes compulsive gambling and substance abuse. It's characterized by the urge to steal often valueless items that the person usually has enough money to purchase at the time. Upon feeling an impulse to steal, a person will experience intense gratification when shoplifting. This state is short-lived, however, and often an intense low mood follows. This cycle renews itself on each shoplifting excursion. While people with kleptomania sometimes steal from loved ones, incidents usually occur in retail spaces. 

There is no definable reason why people fall victim to kleptomania. Some believe it causes a release of dopamine similar to taking drugs or drinking alcohol. In this case, kleptomania could be considered an addictive disorder. Some posit that the disorder stems from low serotonin levels, which has been linked to an increase in impulsivity. People with a family history of addictive and impulsive disorders also have a higher risk.

So, what can be done if you or a loved one experiences kleptomania? Cognitive behavioral therapy is often the first step to identifying the issue and find a solution. Medication can also be provided, which might help control impulses or treat underlying mental health disorders. Some people feel triggered by certain events or occurrences, and being able to recognize triggers can be beneficial for preventing kleptomania in the future. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Learn How I Can Help You

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Cranford Office
190 North Avenue East Suite 1
Cranford, NJ 07016

Toll Free: 866-664-8118
Phone: 908-316-8671
Fax: 908-272-7322
Cranford Law Office Map

Elizabeth Office
740 Newark Avenue
Elizabeth, NJ 07208

Toll Free: 866-664-8118
Phone: 908-316-8671
Elizabeth Law Office Map

Brielle Office
503 Union Avenue
Brielle, NJ 08730

Toll Free: 866-664-8118
Phone: 908-316-8671
Brielle Law Office Map

Phone: 908-316-8671 Fax: 908-272-7322
What is kleptomania? | The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo