Essay about Kleptomania: Psychiatry and Hentz General Psychology

Submitted By khentz2
Words: 1314
Pages: 6

Kayla Hentz
General Psychology
November 21, 2013

(SAME TITLE HERE THAT’S FROM ABOVE) Kleptomania is a psychological disorder that is not as widely known or taken as serious as other psychological disorders such as schizophrenia. People use shoplifting and Kleptomania synonymously but there are important differences between them. “The National Association of Shoplifting Prevention estimates that 1 in 11 people have shoplifted during their lifetime and that men are as likely to shoplift as women. More than $13 billion worth of goods are stolen from retailers in the United States each year” (Odlaug, 2009, pg.251).Shoplifting is behavior defined as stealing from a shop regardless of motives and it is 100% controllable. Kleptomania is a psychiatry diagnosis characterized by being unable to resist the impulse to steal unnecessary items, so it’s uncontrollable in contrast to shoplifting. The fact that the urge to steal is uncontrollable for those suffering from the psychological disorder, kleptomania, helps prove that this is indeed a real disorder that needs treatment. Kleptomania is a serious mental health disorder that can cause much emotional pain to you and your loved ones if not treated, and everyone should know what symptoms occur and how to be treated.
Kleptomania is the inability to resist the urge to steal objects, and these objects are not stolen for personal use or to gain anything from it. Kleptomania was made known as a specific diagnosis in the early nineteenth century. It’s described more in detailed as “a recurrent failure to resist the impulse to steal despite the ego-dystonic nature of the impulse and awareness of the wrongfulness of the act” (Matthey, 1816, p.187). These people who were known to steal things impulsively would continue to do it even knowing its wrong because of their inability to control themselves. This has not changed overtime.

Stress The doctors doing the clinical trials have done numerous studies examining the link between stress and illness. A few of the studies addressed stress being associated with negative life events. The studies found that people with high levels of perceived stress tend to believe their life is uncontrollable. These people will begin to also associate depression with severe stress. Kleptomania begins to become an unending, uncontrollable pattern if no help is sought. “In fact, perceived stress may have a greater correlation with depressive symptoms than negative life events” (Grosz, 2003, pg.252).
Other disorders associated
It is made known that people suffering from this disorder may have had a different disorder before Kleptomania occurs. It specifically states “Kleptomania is commonly under-diagnosed and is often accompanied by other psychiatric conditions, most notably affective, anxiety and eating disorders, and alcohol and substance abuse” (Durst, 2001, p.185). Relationship to substance abuse disorders Kleptomania and drug addictions both become repetitive and compulsive even though the individual is aware of the consequences. “Dopaminergic systems influencing rewarding and reinforcing behaviors have also been implicated in substance use disorders and may play a role in the pathogenesis of kleptomania” (Odlaug, 2010, pg.293). Even the slightest change in someone’s dopamine levels could trigger substance abuse and the urge to take items.

Emotional and Legal Consequences Individuals with the diagnosis of Kleptomania suffer significant social and job impairment, and have high rates of attempted suicide. This is due to the emotional damage done with the social and job difficulties. Many people with Kleptomania suffer multiple legal difficulties due to their uncontrolled behavior. “Prior studies of clinical samples of individuals meeting criteria for kleptomania have reported that 64–87% of individuals with kleptomania have been arrested. In fact, these previous studies