Short Description or Definition
Kleptomania is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) by a pattern of behavior involving recurrent inability to resist impulses to steal objects that are not needed for personal use or for their material value. The theft is preceded by a buildup of tension then followed by a sense of pleasure, gratification, or relief at the time of the act of stealing. The theft is typically not premediated (i.e., it is impulsive) and is not part of a collaboration with others. The disorder is distinguished from ordinary theft which is motivated by the usefulness or value of the object stolen.
The disorder is classified with the disruptive, impulse-control, and conduct disorders in DSM-5.
Development and Course
Kleptomania is exceedingly rare in the general population (0.3–0.6%); however, it may be present in 4–24% of...