Kleptomania is considered uncommon. However because many people with kleptomania never seek treatment, or they're simply jailed after repeated thefts, many cases of kleptomania may never be diagnosed. It's thought that fewer than 5 percent of shoplifters have kleptomania. Kleptomania often begins during adolescence or in young adulthood, but in rare cases it begins after 50 years of age.
Kleptomania risk factors may include:
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- Family history. Having a first-degree blood relative, such as a parent or sibling, with kleptomania or obsessive-compulsive disorder may increase your risk of kleptomania.
- Being female. Approximately two-thirds of people with known kleptomania are women.
- Having another mental illness. People with kleptomania often have other mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, eating disorders, substance abuse or personality disorders.
- Head trauma or brain injuries. People who've experienced a head trauma may develop kleptomania.
- Kleptomania. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed Aug. 22, 2011.
- Hollander E, et al. Impulse-control disorders not elsewhere classified. In: Hales RE, et al., eds. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry. 5th ed. Washington, D.C..: American Psychiatric Association; 2008.
- Grant JE. Understanding and treating kleptomania: New models and new treatments. Israeli Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences. 2006;43:81.
- Thompson JW Jr, et al. Impulse-control disorders. In: Ebert MH, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Psychiatry. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=10. Accessed Aug. 22, 2011.
- Bayle FJ, et al. Psychopathology and comorbidity of psychiatric disorders in patients with kleptomania. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2003;160:1509.
- Grant JE, et al. Legal consequences of kleptomania. Psychiatry Quarterly. 2009;80:251.
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