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. Kleptomania often begins during the teen years or in young adulthood, but in rare cases it begins in later adulthood.

Kleptomania risk factors may include:

  • Family history. Having a first-degree relative, such as a parent or sibling, with kleptomania, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or a substance or alcohol use problem may increase your risk of kleptomania.
  • Being female. About two-thirds of people with known kleptomania are women.
  • Having another mental illness. People with kleptomania often have another mental illness, such as bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, an eating disorder, substance use disorder or a personality disorder.
  • Head trauma or brain injuries. People who've experienced a head trauma may develop kleptomania.
Nov. 11, 2014