When you decide to seek treatment for symptoms of possible kleptomania, you may have both a physical and psychological evaluation. The physical exam can determine if there may be any medical causes triggering your symptoms.
Kleptomania is diagnosed based on your signs and symptoms. Because it's a type of impulse control disorder, to help pinpoint a diagnosis, your doctor may:
- Ask questions about your impulses and how they make you feel
- Review a list of situations to ask if these situations trigger your kleptomania episodes
- Have you fill out psychological questionnaires or self-assessments
Many experts use the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5, published by the American Psychiatric Association, to diagnose mental conditions. This manual is also used by insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.
DSM-5 criteria for kleptomania include these features:
Nov. 11, 2014
- You have a recurrent inability to resist urges to steal objects that aren't needed for personal use or monetary value
- You feel increasing tension immediately before committing the theft
- You have feelings of pleasure, relief or gratification during the act of stealing
- The theft isn't committed as a way to exact revenge or to express anger and isn't done while hallucinating or delusional
- The stealing isn't related to a conduct disorder, a manic episode of bipolar disorder or antisocial personality disorder
- Kleptomania. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed Sept. 3, 2014.
- Highlights of changes from DSM-IV-TR to DSM-5. American Psychiatric Association. http://www.psychiatry.org/dsm5. Accessed Sept. 3, 2014.
- Hales RE, et al. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry. 6th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2014. http://psychiatryonline.org/book.aspx?bookid=716. Accessed Sept. 3, 2014.
- Schreiber L, et al. Impulse control disorders: Updated review of clinical characteristics and pharmacological management. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 2011;2:1.
- Talih FR. Kleptomania and potential exacerbating factors: A review and case report. Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience. 2011;8:35.
- Hodgins DC, et al. Cognitive-behavioral treatment for impulse control disorders. Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria. 2008;Suppl 1:S31.
- Grant JE, et al. Kleptomania: Clinical characteristics and relationship to substance use disorders. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. 2010;36:291.
- Kung S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 22, 2014.
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